It's no secret that the first fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley ended in controversy as Bradley ending up taking home a widely derided split decision. It's because of that fact that Bradley's trainer Joel Diaz is worried that the judges for the rematch will attempt to "payback" Pacquiao by giving the Filipino star the decision if the fight is close.
Boxing Scene's Luis Sandoval was able to catch up with Diaz and asked him about his concerns on the possibility of shaky judging.
"I just think at this point if it goes the distance and the fight is close, they'll give it to Manny. Due to the controversy, the judges don't want to get attacked like they did in the last (fight). So we have that in consideration. We know that if the fight goes the distance and it's close, Manny Pacquiao is going to win. We know that. We take that into consideration because there was a lot of beef in the first one and the judges took the toll of it and they don't want to go through the same thing anymore.
"I'm not looking for a knockout. I'm looking to beat him; beat him right and beat him fair. Decisive, round by round. Don't get me wrong, at this point in Manny's career I can have Timmy apply pressure and he could hurt him. As you can see in Timmy's last fight, his punches got sharper. He's hitting a lot harder. Something can happen in the fight. Tim has a heavy hand and Manny Pacquiao opens up a lot. Anything can happen but I'm just telling you this: we have to win very clear."
Bradley has gotten the benefit of the doubt in close decisions for his last three fights. The aforementioned Pacquiao robbery, the war with Ruslan Provodnikov, and his clear but close win over Juan Manuel Marquez. The wins over Provodnikov and Marquez were certainly fair, but an argument could be made for either man to have received a decision over Bradley if one were inclined.
Despite what Diaz says about Bradley having a "heavy hand", Bradley is simply not a big puncher who can end the fight suddenly with one blow. He isn't a featherfist either, but he is not likely to end his fight with Pacquiao before the final bell sounds. He has scored one stoppage win since 2008, a gradual, sloppy beatdown of faded ex-champ Joel Casamayor.
But I think an interesting thing about predicting this fight is wondering if Bradley has substantially improved since their encounter in June 2012. And has Pacquiao, at age 35, gotten decidedly worse? There's a lot to debate about in the build-up.
Do you think Bradley's camp has something to worry about with the judges?