What is the PACMAN Future?

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 18, 2012

Is the future now

Is the future now

IOWA CITY, IOWA (BASN)I will begin this piece with an apology to Harold Lederman. In a previous column, I assumed that he used a monitor in his work to a view a fight and he does not. Mr. Lederman is one of the best in the business and I met no harm. My quote in question was “The other aspect is that judges are looking up and this, too, puts the judges at a disadvantage. HBO Harold Lederman views the fight through the monitor or I would suspect that he does.”

This was inaccurate and I should have followed up with Mr. Lederman to verify. My Lederman does not use a monitor and he corrected me by writing, “I have never looked at a monitor in twenty seven years on HBO. I watch the fight, the same as the judges do.” To Mr. Lederman, I apologize.

As for the future of Pacquiao, where does the PACMAN go from here?

In the Saturday night fight, NBC Chris Mannix mentioned that he was told by Top Rank that there is no plan for a rematch with Bradley but a possible fourth match with Juan Manuel Marquez. As I mention in a previous column, this is a strategy reflecting a future plan that does not include fighting Mayweather. Whether one believes that Pacquiao was robbed or not is immaterial; Bradley was rewarded the fight. While I felt that Pacquiao won the fight, the record will show that Bradley won. Pacquiao has to revenge this loss and considering that Bradley style is more made for Pacquiao than Marquez, I have to wonder, does Top Rank want to see a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? Does Pacquiao? And why would Pacquiao not want a rematch to revenge what most boxing observes feel was a misjudgment? Why take a chance with a fighter who has shown that he can beat you with a big payday on the line? Unless you have no intention of fighting for that big payday, then It makes no sense.

Certainly a rematch would generate interest and I would suspect that it would in fact lead to bigger numbers in a PPV. And at 33, time is starting to run out for Pacquiao. My own observations on this fight after previewing it a second time, is that Pacquiao is showing sign of skill erosion. Boxing writer Amy Green observed after the fight “Certainly Pacquiao didn’t dominate Bradley in his usual take no prisoner’s style- which we haven’t seen frankly, since he beat the hell out of Margarito. He beat Bradley but it was a far from stirring performance, with no effort to stop Bradley. To Bradley’s credit, he fought a good fight, came to the game prepared and did what he was supposed to do- fight. The win, mistake or not was huge for him.” Green point is that Pacquiao did not show the energy shown in past fight and in many of the rounds; he did not fight all three minutes of the bout. This could be a sign of a fighter on the downside of his career. When a fighter no longer throws punches in bunches as he has done in the past and but instead, pick and chooses when he fights hard in rounds; this is the first sign of a fighter who no longer has the confidence to fight hard every minute of every round.

Pacquiao has fought many of wars over the years and over the past several years, he has moved up in weight beyond his normal fighting weight. Even in this fight, both Bradley and Pacquiao did not add much weight twenty four hours after the weigh in. So both fighters were in superb shape but also at the upper range of the weight they should be fighting.

Considering Pacquiao advantage in hand speed, I never felt that Pacquiao hand speed wasn’t that much superior to Bradley, but only slightly so. For Pacquiao, the longer that he waits for a Bradley rematch, the probable Bradley will beat him for two simple reasons; Bradley is younger and has not had the kind of wars that shorten careers.

In boxing, you have to sometimes forget the actual chronological age and look at what I will call ring age. When a fighter has been involved in many tough brutal fights, skill levels may erode quicker. Muhammad Ali was finished fighter after the third Frazier and while he continued to keep his championship for another three years, he was not the fighter in subsequent fight than he was before the third Frazier fight. Mayweather is the older fighter chronologically but in the ring, he has not suffered that brutal fight contrasted to Pacquiao due to his superior defensive style. He rarely gets hurt badly or takes severe punishment so in a bout with Pacquiao; he may be the fresher fighter of the two.

Pacquiao has very few fights left at his present high level and he can’t afford to waste opportunities or the body will simply give into the father age before he is allowed that one big money fight with Mayweather. If I was Pacquiao, I would fight Bradley and if I would win, then fight Mayweather for the real big dollar! With his many outside interests competing for his time; Pacquiao has decisions to make. Time is running out for the Pacman and review of the last two fight films would indicate, future is now for Pacquiao as the sand in the time glass is running low.