We all know that money makes the world go 'round. Boxing fans are especially aware of the fact that sporting competition and fair play often go out the window in the face of the almighty dollar. It's not even a topic open for debate. In the frustrating world of big-time professional prizefighting, the money-making cash cow is always going to get every benefit of the doubt when it comes to the result of a bout.
This leads us to Saturday's WBO welterweight title fight between Filipino superstar icon, Manny Pacquiao and Palm Springs, California native, Timothy Bradley.
Everyone is well aware of the fact that Pacquiao generates hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. His impact in Las Vegas is felt in the casinos, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Away from the bright lights of "Sin City," the 8-division world champ has also become a worldwide media and corporate darling with plenty of streams of revenue flowing from him. There's no mistaking it-- Pacquiao is big business.
Timothy Bradley, on the other hand, would have a tough time being recognized outside of his gym. The affable and earnest battler has been a junior welterweight world titlist since 2008, but has yet to become a major star.
Bradley has never headlined a pay-per-view and, as a matter of fact, has only really headlined a handful of premium cable cards on HBO and Showtime. While acknowledged as the best junior welterweight in the world by most fans and media, Bradley has yet to score a dominant, legacy-defining victory and has also failed to establish himself as a real draw.
Seeing that Bradley also lacks one-punch knockout power, he will likely need to take Pacquiao the full twelve for a chance at the win. However, recent experience tells us that beating Pacquiao in Vegas is a truly difficult endeavor.
Juan Manuel Marquez was sure that he had done enough to unseat Pacquiao last November, but in a call that drew the ire of many, found himself a loser by majority decision.
We have seen in boxing that close calls will often go to the more famous money fighter and Pacquiao-Bradley is the perfect set-up for one of these questionable calls.
Of course, it's always possible that one of the fighters will walk into something and be knocked out or that Pacquiao could simply dominate his less-experienced opponent. In either of these cases, controversy will be averted.
But, if Pacquiao goes the full twelve and the bout is even remotely competitive, don't expect anyone to bend over backwards to give Bradley a fair shake. Anything short of total and absolute domination on the part of the challenger will likely result in a defeat.
For Bradley, then, the pressure will be to become a power puncher and end the night early. There's no way he should ever count on winning a decision in a bout like this.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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