Predicting the outcome of a fight like Bradley vs Pacquiao II is a difficult one, as there are just so many variables to consider. The discussion of who won the first fight only plays a minor role in the consideration (originally I was shocked to hear Bradley announced as the winner, but after watching the fight with the sound off I had to reconsider, and possibly give the decision to Bradley legitimately) in that there is something to prove for both fighters, and that each fighter has now seen the other, which I believe actually negates any advantage one or another would have as they are both experienced champions and are not going to be making mistakes anyway. The real reason that I am saying the unthinkable to many boxing fans, that Bradley will knock Pacquiao out in the late rounds, is based on the fighters lives outside the ring.
Manny Pacquiao went into the first fight as a 5 to 1 favorite, and nobody thought Bradley stood any chance whatsoever, even if he was a great fighter. Pacquiao was just “too great” for Bradley, and would probably provide another knockout, just like all the others. After the fight was over and everyone voiced their outrage as far as a bad decision, the least annoyed person in the arena was Manny Pacquiao. It was as if he didn’t care anymore, that he was just turning the other cheek and accepting punishment, or any other religious connection we can draw. Quite simply, after that decision, Manny Pacquiao showed the world who he really is now, a compassionate and self-reflective religious person who no longer feels the fire that is necessary for a fighter to perform the brutal tasks that are put before him. He was on this journey in the last round of the Margarito fight, when the entire world watched him pleading with the referee to stop the fight so that he would not have to hurt this man any more. He was proving at that point that he was no longer a killer, and he kept evolving down that path from that point. No knockouts in seven consecutive fights, and having his own lights turned off when he attempted to mimic the aggressiveness that once defined him. Many people will debate the knockout he suffered as luck or not, I saw that punch coming from the moment I first saw Manny fight. His aggressive style opens his guard up and positions him perfectly for a short overhand punch to the face. The only reason he never got caught by it before was that he was so terrifyingly aggressive that the opponents all backed off as he came forward instead of coming forward themselves. Marquez realized that once Pacquiao no longer wanted to hurt people, the aggressiveness he displayed became a weakness. Marquez executed the counter perfectly, and Manny went to sleep. Pacquiao has actually become even more passive since that knockout, becoming even more accepting of punishment. While he may have won against Rios, there was a time when he easily would have knocked Rios out in the first few rounds. He just doesn’t have it any more.
Bradley has grown more and more aggressive and confident over the past two years. He has learned how to use his opponents aggressiveness against them, and his only weakness at this point appears to be a suspect chin that has caused many tense moments in his past few fights. However, a glass jaw only gets in the way if you get hit with a knockout punch (which Pacquiao no longer wants to deliver) or if you cannot fight through the adversity of being rocked but not knocked out. Bradley has become even more effective now that he has been tested and stood up through it. He has become more confident that he may get hurt really bad, but he will not fall. That is a dangerous person, and that is why Tim Bradley is going to knock out Manny Pacquiao.
To sum up the prediction, Tim Bradley is now an aggressive fighter who knows all too well how to knock Pacquiao out, as illustrated by Marquez. He understands what mistakes to not make, and wants to prove that the last fight had the right score. All Tim Bradley has to do is fight the same fight and look for the opening to knock Pacquiao out. Pacquiao on the other hand is fencing with his own mortality. He has been reminded by every boxing analyst in the world that he has not knocked anyone out in 7 fights, and he understands that he is being judged as not having the fire anymore based on the lack of knockouts. Pacquiao cannot let this fight go to the judges, or he risks the same outcome as last time. Manny has to knock Tim Bradley out in order to prove that he is still relevant, and is still Manny Pacquiao. It is that need to define himself as himself that will be his undoing, as he will have to be overly aggressive looking for his own knockout in order to end the fight. he will get more and more desperate as the rounds go on, and as Bradley takes the fight deeper and deeper. Stamina will not be a problem for Bradley, so hee is completely comfortable taking the fight into the later rounds. As Manny looks for the knockout from round 8 on (when he will realize that he will not win by points) then he will attempt an aggressive attack that will open him up to exactly the same shot that Marquez used to end the fight. Although Bradley probably does not have the same punching power as Marquez, and therefor the knockout will not be quite as scary as the last one, it will still provide the same conclusion.
Bradley by knockout in rounds 8,9, or 10. If no knockouts happen in the fight, then Bradley wins by decision. You heard it here first. Feel free to comment.