Arum: You’re going to see a two-handed Pacquiao against Bradley
By Chris Williams: This coming Saturday night on April 9, the 37-year-old former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) could be fighting for the final time of his career in his third fight against Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao is coming off of shoulder surgery on his right shoulder from a torn rotator cuff that his promoter Bob Arum says he suffered eight years ago in 2008. Pacquiao has surgery on his shoulder last May following his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Without any tune-up to test out his shoulder, Pacquiao will be going straight into his fight against Bradley this Saturday.
Arum expects Pacquiao to be better than he’s been in years despite the fact that he’s coming off a surgery and isn’t taking a tune-up.
Arum even believes that Pacquiao’s surgically repaired shoulder could be stronger than his left shoulder, which would be a real surprise to many considering Pacquiao is a southpaw and is naturally left handed.
“You’re going to see a two-handed Pacquiao,” said Arum. “I mean, Pacquiao since 2008, he’s had a torn rotator cuff. Now that it’s been repaired, he’s hitting hard with his right hand maybe harder than his left. So you’re going to see an unbeatable Manny Pacquiao on April 9. Teddy [Atlas] is a great psychologist. All top coaches are great psychologists. They bring out 100 percent of their ability. Most athletes don’t give 100 percent because they don’t know that they’re capable of that 100 percent. Teddy can bring that out of a fighter, and he’s bringing it out of Bradley. So you will see Tim Bradley that’s the best that any Tim Bradley you’ve seen before. Tim Bradley is one of the great fighters around. With Teddy Atlas bringing out the full amount of his ability and with a game plane that makes sense for the first time, he’s very, very dangerous for Manny Pacquiao,” said Arum.
It’s doubtful that Pacquiao’s shoulder will be strong enough to be the fighter that he was before he injured it in 2008. It’s hard to believe that anyone coming off of shoulder surgery on a torn rotator cuff is going to be better for it. With baseball pitchers, they have to change their game after they come off rotator cuff surgery. In many cases, the pitchers will go from being flame throwers to more junk balls after that kind of surgery. But in baseball, the management has sense enough to know that they can’t throw one of their players out on the field without having them do a lot of practice games. I guess it’s only in boxing that fighters get sent out into major fights coming off of surgery. I think it’s really stupid, it depends on what the fighter wants for his career.
I’m sure if Pacquiao was assertive, he could have told Arum that he wants a tune-up fight before going into an important fight following rotator cuff surgery. I would personally never agree to take a major fight coming off shoulder surgery. That wouldn’t happen.
If Arum wanted someone to fight Bradley, then he should have stuck Terence Crawford in there with him or one of Arum’s other Top Rank stable fighters in an in house fight. It makes no sense for Pacquiao to take the fight right now without a tune-up unless he doesn’t care if he loses. He’s getting a ton of money either way regardless of what happens in the fight.
Bradley will be better for having Teddy Atlas in his corner. What Atlas brings more than anything is someone that will be able to control Bradley’s aggressive fighting instincts. If all Atlas does in the corner is to tell Bradley to back off and think inside the ring, then he’s going to be 100 percent better than he was in the past in his first two fights with Pacquiao. That should be enough for Bradley to be able to beat Pacquiao again and send him into retirement with a loss rather than a win. Pacquiao will then need to try and get elected into the senate in the Philippines coming off of a loss. That could make it next to impossible for Pacquiao to get elected.
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