IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“No one did more talking in the build up to the fight than Bradley. He questioned Pacquiao’s zest for combat and turned the knife by adding that Pacquiao would need a stoppage to win—a feat Pacquiao could not accomplish against a hobbled Bradley in June of 2012, and one he had not managed since 2009. Bradley complimented this dismissive talk by promising to gun for Pacquiao’s head Saturday night; a move which, considering Bradley’s reputation for feather dusting, was like a slap hitter digging in and pointing his bat toward the center field fence. But Bradley, Palm Springs, California, is never more motivated than when he perceives he is being doubted—and Bradley is never short on motivation. He swore Pacquiao was past it, promised to tear him up, and, to his credit, Bradley answered the opening bell trying to make good on his word.”

Read Walking Tall: Manny Pacquiao W12 Timothy Bradley on the Cruelest Sport.


IBR on The Cruelest Sport

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“Socks: is there any more to it than that? In his biggest moment as a professional fighter, Timothy Bradley decided to experiment with his footwear . . . and passed on wearing socks. That June night in 2012, Bradley was awarded a controversial split decision over Manny Pacquiao despite suffering injuries to both feet, injuries he attributes in part to his podiatric gaff. If you believe that a hobbled Bradley was able to outfight “Pacman,” then how much intrigue can their rematch hold for you? When Bradley steps onto the canvas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night he will be wearing socks. His feet better insulated from injury, Bradley should then beat Pacquiao more convincingly than he did last time. Fine—save your money.”

Read “Dark Laughter: Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao Preview” on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“If we are to permit the words their full intention, it is either premature, or patently false, to say that “Pacquaio is back.” Yes, the fighter that so easily befuddled and abused Rios looked similar to the little terror who ran roughshod over a handful of divisions before running headlong into catastrophe against Juan Manuel Marquez. The lateral movement and hand speed were there; and the power, despite Rios’ predictable protestations to the contrary, was certainly on display. But it was a subdued performance from Pacquiao, one marked not by tentativeness—you cannot be tentative against Rios—so much as curiosity. Pacquiao seemed to be reacquainting himself not only with violence, but also its consequences.”

Read The Perfect Foil: Manny Pacquiao W12 Brandon Rios on The Cruelest Sport.