April 9th, 2014 By Pedro FernandezPACQUIAO & BRADLEY PUT CAREERS ON LINE
San Francisco, CA- He wasn’t rich and reportedly had just a single sweat suit to his name. But this kid that could barely speak English who was sitting outside this Potrero Hill district gym on a bench waiting for a ride in 2001 was none other than Manny Pacquiao. The upstart IBF 122 lb. claimant who had upset Ledwa Ledwaba for the strap was set to battle the Ric Flair of boxing, the late Dominican Agapito Sanchez who was the “dirtiest player in the game.”
HALL OF FAME REFEREE DENKIN MADE RIGHT MOVES
In other words, “anything goes” was alright with Sanchez who met a violent demise in his homeland a few years back. But he gave Manny Pacquiao the toughest test he has ever had as both a man and a boxer. Slick low blows, an occasional elbow and some well placed head butts had Manny bleeding and looking for a way out. Because of his many decades near the top of refereeing, Marty Denkin kept things in check and the fight that could have went either way was ruled a Technical Draw.
PACQUIAO WENT ON HISTORIC ROLL
It was the last close call that Pacquiao had before went on one of the greatest runs in professional boxing history. Thrashing Marco Antonio Barrera, learning off the first fight and smoking Erik Morales twice, beat Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Antonio Magarito, Miguel Cotto and the list goes on. But through all that glory there was when gent Manny could not beat decisively in Juan Manuel Marquez.
BRADLEY WON “GOING AWAY” ON MY JMM SCORECARD
With Tim Bradley having beaten Marquez last time out, and may I say, in no way was it controversial like Bradley-Ruslan Providnikov and of course the precursor to Saturday night, that Bradley decision win two years ago over Manny which some people claim stunk so bad they could smell it through their TVs.
CHAPTER TWO COULD SPELL END FOR BOTH MEN
While this is billed as Chapter 2 of Bradley-Pacquiao story, depending on the results and the damage inflicted, Saturday night could be the end for Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, or both. Everybody says the pressure is on the shoulders of Pacquiao as he needs a solid victory to propel him to a seemingly mythical Floyd Mayweather encounter.
WIN & LOOK BAD AND THE “BRAND” VALUE PLUMMETS
But were Manny to lose in a manner that clearly illustrates his days are done, the pressure will be too great for him not to retire or run the risk of being Congressman Dah, what’s up doc. Were he to win and take a horrific beating, then I again think that Pacquiao will need to exit stage left.
BETTER CHANCE THIS WILL END BRADLEY’S CAREER?
Tim Bradley is like a punching bag on occasion. The fight with Pacquiao he was seemingly on the receiving end of hard blows far more than the Pacman. And if you saw the fight with Ruslan Providnikov, one in which Bradley was “bludgeoned” round after round as Ruslan hit “Desert Storm” with the kitchen sink, bathtub, washing machine, seemingly every household item was thrown at Bradley and yet he survived to win another disputed decision.
BRADLEY: “MY HEAD WAS NOT RIGHT FOR 3 MONTHS”
Seeing I have been around this quasi-sport of sorts for a long time, for the life of me I cannot recall a fighter admitting to Neurological problems brought on by a fight. But Tim Bradley did just that. He would state a while that after the Provodnikov fight, “My head was not right for 3 months.” If I were handling a fighter and he said that to me, I’d bring up possible retirement. But the mere fact that Bradley alluded to this and has passed a battery of tests to get ready for this fight begs me to ask this question: Will he end up with Alzheimer’s for refusing to “listen to his head?”