The 33 year-old, who is undefeated in seven years, has failed to raise his stock since a lop-sided win over Antonio Margarito in November 2010, when the Filipino gave away numerous poundage to the Mexican before pummelling him for 36 minutes in Texas.
Pacquiao has since followed up the 154lb title win with a predictable shut-out against a faded Shane Mosley and surprisingly, yet another hard-fought battle with Juan Manuel Marquez that concluded with a third questionable outcome.
The Congressman now needs to end Bradley’s undefeated run with a stoppage reminiscent of his 2009 KO of Briton Ricky Hatton, to bring back the aura of invincibility that Pacquiao held up until twelve months ago.
Bradley at 28-0 and 28 years of age, is entirely new to the welterweight division and may well come in scaling more than Pacquiao, who usually tips the scales at 144 or 145 to retain maximum speed at the weight.
With a fight against the recently incarcerated Floyd Mayweather still looking as far away as ever, failure to elevate his reputation back to his once heady heights may see the eight-weight champion back away from boxing and concentrate on his political career.
Even trainier Freddie Roach has admitted himself that if Pacquiao looks anything like he did against Marquez last November, he will urge his man to hang up the gloves, a decision that would leave the fans wondering what might have been between him and Mayweather.