Pacquiao wants to leave no doubt in Bradley fight
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) will be facing Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) in the third and possibly the final fight of his career in less than two weeks on April 9 on HBO PPV, and Pacquiao wants to leave no doubt this time who the better fighter is of the two. The two fighters have faced each other twice with each winning one fight a piece.
While there is some controversy about whether Bradley deserved to win the first fight in 2012, there’s no question that Pacquiao rightfully won the second fight in 2014. However, this was before Bradley had Teddy Atlas as his trainer, and it was also before Pacquiao was schooled by Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May.
Pacquiao suffered a torn rotator cuff before that fight, and he aggravated it during the bout. Pacquiao has since had surgery on the injury, and he’s been out of the ring for the past 10 months. He’ll have been out of the ring for 11 months by the time he faces Bradley on April 9.
You can bet that there will be some ring rust for Pacquiao whether he and his trainer Freddie Roach wants to admit it or not. In the last four years, Pacquiao has missed two years due to his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and his torn rotator cuff from his fight against Mayweather. The Bradley fight is coming at a wrong time for Pacquiao because he should arguably be taking a tune-up fight rather than going straight into a third fight against Bradley.
“What I have on my mind is to win convincingly and leave no doubt. If I have a chance to finish, why not? But I’m not making a prediction. I will do my best to make the people happy for this fight,” Pacquiao said via Fightnews.com.
You have to wonder whether Pacquiao is fighting Bradley for the wrong reasons right now. Pacquiao could have taken on an opponent that would have brought in more pay-per-view buys like Terence Crawford, Adrien Broner, Amir Khan or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Instead, he’s facing Bradley, who he and his team likely feel is a winnable one for him.
One gets the sense that Bradley was selected so that Pacquiao would have a better chance of beating him and then retiring to a life of politics if he can win the May elections in the Philippines. Pacquiao is running for a seat in the senate in his home country, and obviously a win over Bradley would help his chances of getting elected into that position.
A fight against the likes of Broner, Khan, Canelo or Crawford would have a much more uncertain outcome for the 37-year-old Filipino fighter. The thing is I believe that Bradley has improved enough under new trainer Atlas for him to beat Pacquiao on April 9.
Bradley doesn’t have any injuries holding him back like he did in his previous two fights against Pacquiao, and he’s less likely to stand and mix it up with Pacquiao this time around due to Atlas being there in his corner making sure he doesn’t turn the fight into a war, which would favor Pacquiao. Bradley will likely fight much like he did against Juan Manuel Marquez in their fight in 2013 by using movement and his boxing skills to get the better of Pacquiao.
“I thought Manny won both fights. Bradley has got a new trainer and everyone is making a big deal about it…I think he (Atlas) is more of a cheerleader in the corner. We are not afraid of firemen. I know Teddy personally and had some altercations with him,” said Roach to Fightnews.com.
Let’s just hope Roach isn’t crying crocodile tears on April 9, when/if things don’t go as planned for his fighter Pacquiao. Roach can plan all he wants for a positive outcome in this fight, but the fact of the matter is that Bradley has the better wheels, and he’s fighting at a higher level than Pacquiao.
Now that Bradley has Atlas in his corner, he has the missing ingredient to beat Pacquiao and beat him decisively this time. Everything points to a win for Bradley. Pacquiao is coming off of a very serious shoulder operation from last May, and he hasn’t fought for almost an entire year. He’s not taking a tune-up, which is just crazy, and he’s going to be expecting to slug it out. That’s a bad plan for Pacquiao because it’s a game plan that is based on the old Bradley, not the new one trained by Atlas
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