Larry Merchant feels Manny Pacquiao was the reason Tim Bradley fought the way he did in the second half of their rematch

Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley earlier this month in Las Vegas (Photo: Naoki Fukuda)


By Chris Robinson

While veteran analyst Larry Merchant may have given Manny Pacquiao the same amount of rounds vs. Tim Bradley in their rematch as he did in their first meeting, he feels the fight itself had a completely different feel to it.

Inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on April 12, Pacquiao got revenge for a controversial June 2012 split-decision loss to Bradley by out slicking him in the second half of their rematch and pulling out a unanimous decision.

Each man had endured much physically and mentally since their first clash, Pacquiao being blitzed by Juan Manuel Marquez and Bradley going to war with Ruslan Provodnikov, and Merchant could feel the intrigue.

“I scored it similarly to the original fight,” Merchant stated. “I thought that it was a very electric event because of what both fighters have been through since their original fight. I thought that Pacquiao, with his speed and boxing ability, pressured Bradley into trying to get lucky. And good is usually better than lucky.”

Bradley put up an excellent boxing effort against Marquez in capturing a split-decision victory this past October yet he was far more aggressive against Pacquiao six months later.

“I don’t know why Bradley didn’t stick to the same kind of boxing plan he had successfully against Marquez, but he didn’t,” Merchant explained. “I have to assume it’s because he found out that Pacquiao was a little too quick and a little too good. I was perplexed by how he fought in the last half of the fight; just hoping to land a big punch.”

Digging in a bit further, Merchant feels that Pacquiao deserves the credit for neutralizing Bradley down the stretch.

“I don’t know what caused that exactly,” said Merchant. “But I always think there is cause and effect in a fight and if he was reduced to just trying to get lucky there must have been a good reason for it and the good reason must have been Pacquiao.”

Chris Robinson can be reached at

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