LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao may be the most feared puncher of his generation but in the eyes of Tim Bradley, the Filipino hero won’t even rank as the most dangerous fighter he will ever meet inside the ring.
That distinction, Bradley said, belonged to Kendall Holt, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-lightweight champion whom the California native faced in a unification bout in 2009.
Holt sent Bradley to the canvas in the first and 12th round of that match, although he survived both knockdowns to escape with a unanimous decision win.
“One of the biggest punchers I ever faced was Kendall Holt,” Bradley said. “I don’t think nobody hits harder than that guy. He has one-punch knockout power. He put guys to sleep with one punch.”
The former amateur standout doubts if Pacquiao, whom he will face on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time), has that kind of power.
“Pacquiao doesn’t have that. He doesn’t knock down guys with just one punch other than Ricky Hatton. He put him out cold,” said the 28-year-old American, referring to the Briton whom Pacquiao put to sleep with a left hook to the chin in the second round.
The eight-time world champion also holds a high knockout rate of 64 percent behind his 38 KOs in 54 wins. But that doesn’t seem to intimidate Bradley, either.
“He hasn’t been in a lot of fights like that (Hatton bout) where he just completes a one-punch knockout,” said the challenger, whose own knockout rate is 41 percent (12 KOs in 28 fights).
Bradley said he won’t know for sure how strong Pacquiao’s punches are until they finally come toe-to-toe in the ring. “That’s a question that’s basically to be decided on fight night,” he said.
Well, Pacquiao probably couldn’t wait to prove Bradley wrong.