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Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley best PPV of 2014? Boxing expert Larry Merchant calls grudge match a 'tossup' [VIDEO]

Raimundo Ortiz
By Raimundo Ortiz @AroundtheMundo
on Feb 28, 2014 09:09 AM EST
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Timothy Bradley & Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao (L) and Timothy Bradley (R) at the weigh-in for their first fight. (Photo : Reuters)

From March to June there will be as many boxing pay per views as there were for the entirety of 2013, and although Floyd Mayweather Jr. is slated to fight in May, Manny Pacquiao may be the star of the slate.

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Timothy Bradley questions if Pacquiao still has killer instinct?

Mayweather is without question the biggest star in boxing, but in terms of competitiveness few believe his opponent Marcos Maidana is a great threat to win, despite his prodigious power.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, still fights with an exciting style, and is stepping into the squared circle with a man who has surpassed him on most pound-for-pound charts. According to boxing expert and longtime analyst Larry Merchant, as good as Pacman looked vs. Brandon Rios in his last fight, it won't be enough to avert a second loss to Timothy Bradley.

"You can't say enough about Manny and where he was when he first came to America, and how he evolved as a boxer-puncher," Merchant told RingTV.com. "In that fight, against Rios, he fought just as a boxer. But he's not going to be able to beat Bradley just as a boxer. You can never dismiss a fighter of Manny's proven qualities."

Did Manny Pacquiao really challenge Floyd Mayweather to fight for free?

Pacquiao remains the bigger name, possesses more power, and has a larger following, but Bradley's last three victories have been over Pacquiao, Ruslan Provodnikov, and Juan Manuel Marquez and he's improved steadily each time.

"Tim Bradley is a younger guy and he still thinks that he's got stuff to prove, and that's what makes Bradley who he is," said Merchant. "Bradley wins every place that he goes. If there is any resistance, he wears you out. He's a damn good fighter.

"In the first fight with Manny, he came out trying to show that he could fight with Manny, but then, after three or four rounds, he started to box him and he did better. I think that it's pretty clear that Bradley is going to try to come out and fight Manny the way that he fought Marquez, and that's to out-box the boxer.

"If Bradley does that, then that's going to put the burden on Manny, who is the older fighter. At the very least, Manny Pacquiao has got to make it a helluva fight. I think that it's a tossup fight." 

Questions or comments? Hit me up @AroundtheMundo

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