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Pacquiao-Bradley: Look for Tim to finish Manny off

By Chris Williams: At this point in Manny Pacquiao’s career, he’s the equivalent of an old lion on his last legs ready to be knocked off the bill by a younger lion with a full set of teeth and claws.

We saw Pacquiao get dominated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year, and we also witnessed Pacquiao get knocked clean out by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) is now about to fight former two division world champion Tim Bradley, who is like a shark who smells blood in the water and it ready to finish off his prey.

That prey is the 37-year-old Pacquiao. Bradley is ready to send Pacquiao into retirement next month with a big fat loss in their fight on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao was at one time briefly the number one fighter in the sport while Mayweather was away from 2007 to 2009, but that’s not how things are now. Pacquiao is clearly not looking very stable at this point, and Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) will be primed to finish him off next month.

Pacquiao is coming off of a shoulder injury to his right shoulder that he sustained at some point. He and his promoters at Top Rank decided that he wouldn’t take a tune-up fight, so we’re going to see Pacquiao go straight from rotator cuff surgery into a fight on April 9. I can’t say that’s the smartest thing I’ve ever seen done, but it was a predictable move. Antonio Margarito made a similar move like this when he came off of three eye surgeries to face Miguel Cotto in a rematch in 2011.

This was without a tune-up for Margarito. As you would expect, his surgically repaired eye closed up immediately, causing him to lose the fight. I have a feeling that Pacquiao’s surgically repaired right shoulder will act up early on in the Bradley fight, and will leave him a one-armed fighter. I see this as a straight up loss for Pacquiao, but he at least will have an excuse for later on.

The shoulder injury excuse will work nicely just like it did last May. It reminds me of my days as a 200-meter sprinter. After I would beat certain competitors, they would start saying they had blown out hamstring or suffered some kind of injury that led to them losing. I would just look at them and shake my head and walk away. Excuses for losers in my book.

Pacquiao is a slight favorite with Bovada at -270 to Bradley’s +210. However, I see an upset in this fight, and I don’t see it as an upset. Pacquiao is ready to be beaten, and Bradley is the guy to do it. He’s got a new trainer in Teddy Atlas, and he’s fighting better than I’ve ever seen before. Bradley always had the talent to be one of the best, but he would hurt his own cause by mixing it up too much against guys with better power than him.

Bradley shouldn’t have lost the second fight against Pacquiao 2014. If he had Atlas as his trainer, Bradley would have never elected to stand in the pocket and slug with Pacquiao for 12 rounds. That was one of the worst game plans I’ve ever seen before. Bradley did the same thing in his fight against Diego Chaves in 2014. That fight ended up being scored as a controversial draw. It was still a wake-up call for Bradley that he needed to make a change with his fighting style. By switching out Joel Diaz in favor of Atlas, Bradley now has the guidance to make him a winner in the Pacquiao fight.

I see Bradley using his boxing skills, movement, and a sharp jab to totally dominate Pacquiao on April 9 in their fight on HBO PPV. This is going to be an easy fight for Bradley once he sets the pace of the fight in the early rounds. I think Bradley will train Pacquiao just like Mayweather did to teach him what can’t do in the ring.

It’s too bad that Pacquiao is choosing Bradley for his final fight of his career rather than one of his promoter Bob Arum’s arguably lesser fighters in his stable like Jessie Vargas, because this is bad way for Pacquiao to end his career.

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