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Pacquiao expects Bradley fight to be a war

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao is expecting his fight this Saturday night against Tim Bradley to be a full scale war from start to finish in their fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao saw Bradley’s last fight against Brandon Rios last year, and he believes that Bradley has changed his fighting style to become more of a brawler than he was in the past.

Pacquiao will be getting a guaranteed $20 million for the Bradley fight. There will also be PPV upside that could increase the $20M for the Filipino fighter, but the fight will need to bring in a decent amount of PPV buys for that to happen. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum thinks the fight could bring in as many as 800,000 PPV buys on HBO. However, it might not bring more than 250,000, possibly a little more.

Pacquiao sees him wanting to go to war with him on Saturday night and look to throw a lot of body shots. However, it could be that Pacquiao wasn’t looking close enough at Bradley’s fight against Rios because Bradley wasn’t punching nearly as much in that fight than he was in his previous fight against Jessie Vargas. If anything, Bradley is slugging less and focusing on boxing more. It’s just that in Rios’ case, he couldn’t handle the body shots that Bradley was hitting him with later in the contest.

“After seeing Tim knock out Brandon Rios I expect Bradley to engage more instead of running like he did before when we fought. He has improved a lot and has become a very powerful puncher. It’s going to be a great fight,” said Pacquiao.

Hopefully for Pacquiao’s sake, his trainer Freddie Roach has trained him in how to cut off the ring in case Bradley chooses to box him. Roach may be losing the ability to analyze fights if he believes that Bradley is going to be looking to slug with Pacquiao on Saturday night.

I don’t think that’s what Bradley is going to do in this fight because he tried that strategy in the second fight and it failed to work for him. Pacquiao was able to use his fiast hand speed and high work rate to get the better of Bradley, Bradley’s new trainer Teddy Atlas obviously7 knows that he’ll never beat Pacquiao by standing and trading with him. That’s why they have to assume that Bradley is going to be looking to move around the ring for the full 12 rounds and not looking to trade with him.

“This is not the same Tim Bradley I fought before,” said Pacquiao. “His new trainer has transformed him into a powerful and entertaining fighter. He knocked out Brandon Rios in his last fight. Rios had never been stopped before that fight. I think we will give the fans an exciting fight. I am really looking forward to it.”

Trainer Teddy Atlas hasn’t done much in terms of making Bradley a more exciting fighter than he was before. If anything, Atlas has forced Bradley to ease back with his offense to make him more careful than he was before. Pacquiao seems totally confused with what Atlas has done with Bradley. He’s got it completely backwards.

If this is what Roach has been telling Pacquiao during training camp, then Pacquiao needs someone else to come in and give him the straight scoop about what he’ll be seeing on Saturday night when he gets inside the ring with Bradley. The worst thing Pacquiao can be doing is thinking that Bradley is going to fight him like he did the last time the two fighters mixed it up two years ago in 2014. Bradley slugged it out with Pacquiao in that fight because he had a leg injury that prevented him from moving around the ring the way he wanted to.

“The time feels right for winding down my boxing career. We will see. I am training like it is my last fight,” said Pacquiao.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is talking a lot this week about wanting to match him against WBC middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in his next fight. Arum seems to think that Pacquiao will be continuing his career after this fight on Saturday night. There’s a lot of money to be scooped up by Pacquiao and Arum if they agree to fight Canelo later this year. That’s a fight that could bring in 3 million PPV buys if Canelo wins his next fight against Amir Khan on May 7 and if Pacquiao handily beats Bradley on Saturday night.

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