Though many diehard boxing fans are almost dreading the coming HBO 24/7 series on Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, who meet on June 9 in Las Vegas, but I'm all for giving things a chance before I fully write them off as crap I don't want to see.
Above, you see...well, look. I'm skeptical of most things on earth, to be perfectly honest, but I'm starting to get the feeling that the "new" Manny Pacquiao isn't just some strange marketing gimmick.
This doesn't seem like the old Manny at all. It's not that we saw him out gambling with strippers and carousing and what have you, because they never put that on 24/7 or anything. It's just stories -- things Manny has admitted in recent months. Now he's apparently a Bible-thumping public servant first and a boxer second.
This quick preview makes that seem like the real deal. Combined with his Face Off performance, which was beyond dull but sort of amusingly detached from the whole silly premise, and we've got a guy who is very humble, very content, very gracious, very focused on a lot of things, very in tune with his life.
I'm not sure that's such a good thing going into a fight. All of that adds up to "lack of fire," probably.
We'll see. But as disinterested as I am in Manny's Bible studies, maybe Arum was right on The Fight Game when he dared to wonder how this will effect Manny Pacquiao in the ring. Maybe it really is something worth focusing on, but stripped away and applied to just the boxing. I've got no doubt Manny doesn't believe he's underestimating Tim Bradley. I just wonder if his level of focus really, truly is, and if that's good enough for a big fight.