PACQUIAO IS BRADLEY'S CHOICE AS FIGHTER OF THE DECADE
By Maloney L. Samaco
Tue, 07 Jan 2020
Bradley (R) and Pacquiao at the weighin.
Over ESPN, Dan Rafael, Steve Kim and Timothy Bradley Jr. shared their thoughts on who should be chosen as Fighter of the Decade 2010-2019. Kim identified Floyd Mayweather Jr. as "the premiere pound-for-pound boxer on the planet this decade." He added talking about Mayweather has to include "the impact he made on the business of boxing."
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Rafael picked Canelo Alvarez because he has fought "several exciting fights, drawn huge crowds and shown big punching power, a great chin and vast improvement in his skills." Between 2010 and 2019, Alvarez fought 25 times, with a slate of 23-1-1. Rafael further said Canelo won world titles in four weight divisions, junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight, and became the highest-paid fighter in the sport.
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Former WBO world welterweight champion Bradley chose his former arch-foe Pacquiao whom he faced three times, with the Filipino winning twice by unanimous decision and the American scoring a controversial split decision in their first encounter.
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Having fought nearly 12 years in professional boxing, he retired after his loss in the third Pacquiao fight. "He took over in the late rounds of the second fight and hit me with a different type of power in the third fight. He was just more cerebral, a different Pacquiao in the rematches."
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"Pacquiao is definitely a top-five all-time fighter. If he's top-five of all time, he's definitely a fighter who defined this decade," said Bradley. He called the senator "a legend since he first stepped foot into a ring in 1995, and he is one of the most gifted athletes I've ever been in the ring with." Bradley explained that Pacquiao is such a great fighter that "his B and C games are better than a lot of guys' A games."
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Bradley argued that during the past 10 years the Filipino icon faced top caliber opponents, had a few losses, but they were spectacular events that helped bring boxing to many casual fans. A megafight with Floyd Mayweather, one of the biggest events in boxing history, a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez to close out a great rivalry and against himself as they "completed a great and memorable trilogy."
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The "Desert Storm" contended that Pacquiao won an unprecedented 12 world titles in eight divisions, a pay-per-view monster and commanded eyeballs anytime he stepped into the ring. "When you think about boxing, you think about Manny Pacquiao," he added.
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Bradley appreciated Pacquiao's tenacity: "I love him as a fighter, and I love his courage in the ring. Pacquiao was always willing to fight guys in their primes. It's rare that a fighter actually wants to fight the best out there."
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The former two division champion has a massive amount of respect for the Filipino sports hero. He said Pacquiao is an unbelievable fighter and even at 41 years old, he's still fighting at the highest level. "He's still fighting against these young guys, and he's still able to beat them. I can't believe he's still that hungry." He still wants to face the very best. He still wants to fight Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter and all these top-level fighters. "He still has speed and power. He's fearless. It's hard to touch this guy," added the retired fighter from California.
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Bradley had a very expressive conclusion: "There will never be another Manny Pacquiao. Guys such as Pacquiao come once in a lifetime."
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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