Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Bradley: There Are Levels; Vargas Will Find Out Against Pacquiao

image

By Keith Idec

The thing Timothy Bradley likes most about Stephen A. Smith is that his new broadcast partner speaks the truth, regardless of the consequences.

Bradley has taken that very approach to assessing the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas fight the former two-division champion will call from ringside alongside Smith and Brian Kenny on November 5 in Las Vegas. He would like to paint Pacquiao-Vargas as a 50-50 encounter either fighter could win, particularly given their age disparity.

But based on what Bradley experienced in the ring against both boxers over the past 15 months, he doesn’t think the roughly 8-1 odds that favor Pacquiao are quite wide enough.

“My thoughts on Vargas winning are slim to none,” Bradley told BoxingScene.com. “I’m gonna be honest with you. Yeah, it’s a competitive fight. Vargas is gonna show up and do what Vargas is gonna do. But it takes a certain kind of style to beat Manny Pacquiao.

“Granted, Vargas had a sensational win against Sadam Ali. He had a sensational right hand against me in the last round, even though I was dominating that fight. But he feels that he has a puncher’s chance. He feels like he can land an overhand right on Pacquiao. And he definitely has a really good chin.”

The 33-year-old Bradley knows all too well about Vargas’ right hand. He was dominating their June 2015 fight in Carson, California, when Vargas drilled Bradley with an overhand right that buckled Bradley’s legs with approximately 20 seconds left in the 12th round.

Bradley appeared on his way to surviving the trouble, but referee Pat Russell denied Bradley a decisive victory when he mistook the 10-second warning for the final bell and called an end to the HBO bout eight seconds too soon. Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) campaigned for a rematch thereafter, but Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) went on to dominate Brandon Rios (33-3-1, 24 KOs), who lost by ninth-round TKO, and lost another unanimous decision to Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) in a 12-round WBO welterweight title fight most boxing fans and media criticized promoter Bob Arum for making earlier this year.

Though Bradley beat Vargas pretty easily other than that aforementioned right hand (115-112, 116-112, 117-111), Bradley respects Vargas’ skills, especially the Las Vegas native’s sometimes-jarring jab.

“One of the things that Jessie Vargas does very well and has in his arsenal, is he has a solid, stiff jab,” Bradley said. “And he’s gonna need that against Manny Pacquiao because he’s gotta control range and distance against Manny Pacquiao. If he uses that range and jab, he’ll be able to keep Manny Pacquiao off of him a little bit and move and control the distance.”

pacquiao-vargas (13)_2

Even if Vargas’ jab is effective early in their scheduled 12-rounder at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, Bradley doesn’t think that’ll be nearly enough to disarm Pacquiao. Bradley admits he was surprised how fast and powerful Pacquiao was during their third fight, which took place nearly four months after Pacquiao’s 37th birthday.

“As soon as Manny Pacquiao figures out that range and that distance,” Bradley said, “and figures out what he’s doing, then I think Pacquiao’s gonna come and press him and press him. He’s quick and he’s explosive, man. He’s a completely different fighter from when I faced him the first two times. Just more patient, more precise on his punches. It seems like he got his power back, full-fledged. He punched pretty hard the last time I faced him. I didn’t feel him punch that hard in the first two fights. But man, that third fight, that dude had some lightning speed and some great punching power.”

Pacquiao basically beat Bradley three times, though Bradley won their infamous first fight by split decision in June 2012 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With trainer Teddy Atlas in his corner, the Palm Springs, California, native thought he had a legitimate shot at winning their third fight, a bout even Bradley was surprised Arum arranged.

Once Pacquiao scored a seventh-round knockdown, however, Bradley believes he subconsciously conceded defeat to the Filipino superstar in Pacquiao’s first fight following his unanimous-decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015. Pacquiao scored two knockdowns during their April 9 bout, the second of which occurred during the ninth round, and won by the same large margin on all three scorecards (116-110).

“I was on point, man,” Bradley recalled. “If I was gonna win a fight [against Pacquiao], it was gonna be that night. I was in superior shape and I was on everything he likes to do. And I knew everything he liked to do. But you’ve gotta be mentally tough all the way through. And for some reason, man – I’m not sure if it’s the history of it with Pacquiao – I’m not sure what happened. But during the course of the fight, I gave in. I don’t know why.

“I think it had to do with the knockdown in the [seventh] round, when I thought he pulled me down. He threw a punch, but he kind of grabbed my glove and pulled me forward to the ground. I think that kind of discouraged me a bit because I was just like, ‘Here we go. I’m in the fight or this fight is even right now, going into the [seventh] round, and the ref [Tony Weeks] called a freakin’ knockdown when it was a slip.’ I’m just like, ‘Here we go again.’ I think that had to do with the rest of the fight and the kind of discouragement I had because of that particular knockdown. But my trainer always says, ‘You’ve got to be a professional at all times.’ And I wasn’t a professional that night.”

Pacquiao connected with a short right hand around Bradley’s left glove during the sequence to which Bradley referred. Their arms got tangled thereafter, Bradley fell forward and his gloves touched the canvas, which caused Weeks to call it a knockdown with just under 20 seconds to go in the seventh round.

Regardless, Bradley fully expects Vargas to be a professional when he encounters the greatest opportunity of his eight-year pro career five weeks from Saturday night. It just won’t be enough, according to Bradley.   

“Pacquiao is the favorite and he should be the favorite,” Bradley said. “Manny Pacquiao is on a whole different level. There are levels to this game, man, and Jessie Vargas will find out.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by revelated on 10-01-2016

[QUOTE=Clubber Pac;17087945]Manny is not the KO puncher he used to be. In fact, he has not knocked out anyone in 7 years. Vargas is bigger, longer, and most likely stronger at this point. Top rank picked Vargas because they believe…

Comment by revelated on 10-01-2016

Bradley IS speaking truth, and here is why he's right:

Comment by Elroy The Great on 10-01-2016

what a joke. vargas plans on doing what to pac ? id rather see pac vs alcherry 2.

Comment by Clubber Pac on 09-30-2016

[QUOTE=mathed;17085749]Vargas will be game for 2-3 rds but after that, once Pac has felt him out and knows what to expect, dude is getting the snot kicked out of him. He's arrogant and thinks that he is better than ATG…

Comment by soul_survivor on 09-30-2016

I often dislike one sided fights and this isn't my fave match up for Pacquiao, but I do enjoy the Pacman beating up on wannabes. Bradley is right...he should know lol Bring on Pac v Brook next year for the…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (17)
Top Headlines Joshua Expects Late KO: Takam's Head is a Block of Cement! Steve Collins Granted Licence To Box Again Euro News: Teper-Lazarides, Braekhus-Lauren II, Jamoye Retires Hearn Talks Possibility of Joshua Fighting Overseas in Early 2018 Rob Brant's Promoter Confident Boxer Will Win WBSS at 168 DeGale: Can't Moan Over Canelo-GGG Draw, It Was Close Fight Joshua Backs Bellew To Overcome Haye Again, Win Rematch Burnett-Zhakiyanov: Unification and Foundation Sanchez: If Canelo Rematch Is Made, GGG Won't Fight Before Then Orlando Salido Confident He Has The Tools To Unseat Berchelt Malignaggi: Me vs. McGregor would sell a lot, draw a lot in boxing! Top Rank Prez: Crawford, Horn Will Not Wait For Pacquiao Vargas: Golden Boy Didn't Offer Enough Money to Fight Cotto Photos: Gabe Rosado, Glen Tapia Ready For War in Las Vegas Wlodarczyk: I'm Not Sold On Gassiev; Could've Lost to Lebedev Hearn: I'd Like Wilder To Fight Whyte - Winner Gets Joshua Shot Warren: Saunders Has To Look A Million Dollars Against Lemieux Jezreel Corrales vs. Alberto Machado - Training Camp Notes Rosa vs. Evans Tops ShoBox Quadrupleheader, November 10 Photos: Murat Gassiev, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk - Putting in Work Takam: I'm Not Scared - 80,000 Joshua Fans Means Nothing To Me Lemieux: Saunders About To Get Destroyed, Will Feel A lot of Pain! Hearn: Wilder, Parker Do Not Warrant a 50-50 Split With Joshua! News: Boxing Hall of Fame Update, Isaac Zarate, Marcus Bates Saunders Confident: Lemieux Looks Good Against B-Level Fighters! Anthony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam: Phil Edwards To Referee Gabe Flores Back on Nov. 17 at Reno/Sparks Convention Center Parker vs. Fury: WBO Rejects Protest To Rescore The Fight Abel Sanchez Pleased With Murat Gassiev's Work For Wlodarczyk Joshua: There are Still People Who Doubt, Want Me To Lose Sadam Ali: Been Huge Underdog Before, I've Proved People Wrong Photos: Anthony Joshua Training in Beast Mode For Carlos Takam Roach: Cotto Would've Been Criticized for Beating Smaller Garcia Crolla Responds To Flanagan: Talks Burns Fight, Ritson, Future 'Boxing Kings' Details When Americans Ruled at Heavyweight Joshua Reveals That Takam Confronted Him After Breazeale Win DeGale: Badou Jack is Not in My Class at All - I Want Rematch! De La Hoya: If Lemieux Wins - Canelo Fight Possible if No Golovkin Erickson Lubin's Future is Up To Him Murata: N'dam First, Ultimately Shooting for GGG-Canelo Winner
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement