Pacquiao's latest win 'not great,' but important

Posted at 04/15/14 7:35 PM

Analyst explains why

Manny Pacquiao’s recent victory over Timothy Bradley may not be as spectacular as his previous battles, but fight analyst Michael Rosenthal stressed that the win can be considered as one of the most important in the Filipino boxer’s 19-year career.

In his post-fight analysis published on RingTV, Rosenthal pointed out that the circumstances surrounding the bout made the win a crucial one for the eight-division world champion.

“The Filipino was 35, one fight removed from a one-punch knockout loss and perceived to be in decline. He was facing a gifted, undefeated opponent who was in his prime and on everyone’s pound-for-pound list. At best, this was a 50-50 proposition for Pacquiao. And what did the old man do? He turned in a dominating performance, winning a one-sided decision that no one – including Bradley – would dispute,” he said.

“I won’t suggest that it was his greatest night. It’s hard to top his victories over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton when he was at his peak. At the same time, given the facts going into the fight, this will be remembered as one of the most important victories of his career,” added Rosenthal.

Pacquiao earned his vindication by wisely outboxing the Indio, California-based boxer who went out gunning for a knockout against the Filipino last Sunday.

Bradley’s strategy, however, proved to be useless midway the bout after Pacquiao displayed his new-found ability to adjust tactics midway the fight. Not only he was able to check the American’s right hand; more importantly, he piled up the needed points for a unanimous verdict.

Thus, Pacquiao avenged his 2012 defeat to Bradley and reclaimed the WBO welterweight crown.

Pacquiao may not be the same feared warrior of old, but Rosenthal said the Bradley fight showed that the Filipino champion remains a formidable fighter.

“Pacquiao might not be what he once was but, at maybe 80 or 90 percent, let there be no doubt that he remains formidable. As in their first fight, which Bradley won by a controversial decision, Pacquiao was too good and too quick for what we can now call an inferior opponent,” he said.

Punch stats also indicated that there was an improvement on Pacquiao’s part in terms of defense.

“Particularly striking were the defensive numbers: Bradley connected on only 19 percent of his punches in their first fight, only 22 percent on Saturday, well below the welterweight average, according to CompuBox. (Pacquiao connected on 35 percent.) Bradley had his moments but moments generally don’t win fights,” said Rosenthal.

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