5 keys for Manny Pacquiao

Plotting a path to victory against Timothy Bradley Jr.

Originally Published: June 8, 2012
By Diego Morilla | ESPNdeportes.com

Among other things, Saturday's sneaky-good main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will give us a chance to see Manny Pacquiao in with a fighter who resembles Floyd Mayweather Jr., however remotely, in speed, mobility and defensive slickness.

In recent years, Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) has chosen brawlers over boxers, fighters who will stand their ground rather than force him to give chase. But in Timothy Bradley Jr. (28-0, 12 KOs), Pacquiao has on his hands a defense-first, pinpoint-accurate undefeated champion who is supremely confident in his skills and can pile up points against the best fighters in the business.

Whether this bout is a prelude to a long-awaited Pacquiao-Mayweather fight remains to be seen. That aside, just watching Pacquiao take on a proven, in-his-prime champ who has the tools to make him look bad will be refreshing enough. Shane Mosley was supposed to pose a similar challenge, but Bradley, 28, has the skills and the youth (i.e., energy) to keep Pacquiao engaged throughout a fight. Bradley has everything to gain in a challenge that could catapult him to the upper reaches of the pound-for-pound list and earn him the keys to the most lucrative fights in the sport today.

With the stage set, here are five keys to victory for Pacquiao on Saturday:

Diego Morilla is a contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.

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