Given the multiple problems WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has had to deal with ever since his November victory against Juan Manuel Marquez (backlash after the controversial decision, legal problems in the Philippines, and few problems with his camp), many boxing fans are worried about his mental state going into his June 9 bout against undefeated Timothy Bradley.
Even Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, is concerned about the WBO welterweight champs' current mental state, and he shared his thoughts during the premier episode of HBO's "The Fight Game with Jim Lampley."
"Bradley is a terrific fighter," Arum said. "He's undefeated. He poses a tremendous challenge for Manny Pacquiao. And my problem is what Pacquiao are we going to see? You have to understand, since the last fight last November, he has become a totally different person. He's super religious. He does bible study every night. Sometimes I get the impression that I'm promoting Rick Santorum, and not Manny Pacquiao. But be that as it may, who knows what effect it will have on his ring ability on June 9th?"
Bob Arum certainly has every right to be concerned about Pacquiao, considering the fact he'll need to bring his A-game against Bradley. With a professional record of 28-0-0, Bradley might not be as accomplished as the Filipino congressman, but he's definitely not an easy fight for anyone. A win against Pacquiao will transform Bradley into a superstar in the sport, and there is no question he'll be looking to make history when the two square up at the MGM Grand.
Timothy Bradley isn't naive about the politics of boxing either, and he knows he'll have to stop Pacquiao if he wants to walk away victorious.
"In order to be the champion you've got to take chances in the ring," Bradley said during the latest episode of HBO's "Faceoff with Max Kellerman". "You've got to take chances. I'm here to win. I'm not here to just lay down for a paycheck. I'm here to win. If I've got to fight toe-to-toe with Manny Pacquiao, so be it. … I'm here to win. I've got to hurt him."
Keith Idec, "Arum Concerned With Pacquiao's Upcoming Performance"
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.