Will Bradley send Pacquiao into retirement with a loss?
By Chris Williams: Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) will be looking to finish off former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) and send him into retirement with a final defeat on his resume. Pacquiao has been saying that he wants/needs a win in his final fight of his career tonight before he goes off into a life of politics in the Philippines.
If Bradley can beat Pacquiao tonight in their third fight, he will have essentially put the 37-year-old Pacquiao out of his misery. The win will make fans see Bradley as the more talented of the two fighters, and the guy that would have won all three fights in their series if he had the genius Teddy Atlas at the controls giving him the right game plan for each fight.
The reason Pacquiao loses tonight won’t be due to him being old. It’ll be because Bradley has the right trainer telling him the correct instructions in how to dominate Pacquiao.
Bradley doesn’t mind too badly Pacquiao hanging up his gloves, but he just wants to give him a nice gift in the way of a loss to send him on his way. Bradley is fighting for his legacy tonight, as well as a guaranteed $4 million in addition to a cut of the pay-per-view upside loot from HBO.
Right now, it’s still unclear if this fight will generate enough money for Bradley and Pacquiao to get any real upside cash from the PPV on HBO. It was a wrong-headed move on the part of their 84-year-old promoter Bob Arum to put this fight together and ask the boxing public to pay to see it for a third time.
It was the equivalent of trying to peddle a popular movie from 2012 and asking the viewing public to pay the same price to see the same movie. If you did that kind of thing, it would be a ghost town if the price of the tickets weren’t dropped to next to nothing. In this case, the price of the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight tonight is the same as before, and the result will likely be very, very few boxing fans wanting to buy the fight.
Arum clearly misjudged the public, as well as Pacquiao, who should have spoken up when the idea of a third fight with Bradley was floated to him. This is kind of thing that I would have seen as a fail if I was half asleep and it was mentioned to me.
Even with my bran half foggy with sleep, I could see nothing good coming of this fight. It’s too bad Pacquiao or someone in his brain trust couldn’t see that they were about to make a HUGE mistake in fighting Bradley for a third time. Whatever the case, Pacquiao is supposed to be getting a guaranteed $20 million for tonight’s fight. I don’t know where that money is going to be coming from.
If Bradley is getting $4 million and Pacquiao $20 million, it doesn’t seem to add up if the fight only brings in 200,000 PPV buys. That’s my low estimate of what I feel tonight’s fight will bring in. My best estimate is the fight brings in 350,000 buys, but no more than that. It’s just the wrong fight, the wrong timing, and the wrong point of Pacquiao’s career for this fight. You have to remember that many boxing fans still feel like they were robbed from Pacquiao’s last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“This will be a chance to show everyone the result of the sacrifices that I made during training camp,” said Pacquiao to mb.com.ph. “I expect plenty of action this time compared to our last fight,” said.
Pacquiao seems to be completely in the dark about what is in store for him tonight. If he really thinks Bradley is going to just go out there and mindlessly stand and trade with him this time around, then he’s totally delirious. I hope this isn’t the stuff that his trainer Freddie Roach has been telling him, because it would tell me that Roach is starting to lose it upstairs.
Anyone with a half a brain would know that Bradley is going to go out and box Pacquiao for 12 rounds because Floyd Mayweather Jr. already created the blueprint in how to handle Pacquiao by his skillful 12 round decision win last May. Yeah, we heard the injury excuse from Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum after the fight, but there are many who don’t believe that Pacquiao was ever injured in the first place.
Believe me, there are a lot of doubters who heard the injury excuse and took it as someone who was looking for something to tell the boxing public so that he could escape the heat from the fans. It reminds me of my days as a sprinter. I was used to be a superb 200-meter sprinter in college. When I would beat guys, they could come up to me and start saying they had an injury to a heal or a hamstring. They never limping, and I just took it as a sour loser who was unable to admit they were beaten by the better man.
“(I am) glad that the fans came out to support this event,” said Bradley. “(But) they better get ready for tomorrow. I think there’s going to be a lot of disappointed fans out there.”
I think there will be more than a few disappointed Pacquiao fans, but that’s how it goes in the sport of boxing. You know the old saying, “out with the old and in with the new.” Bradley isn’t new, but he’s got a new trainer in Teddy Atlas, and he’s got a great game plan we’re told that will do a number on Pacquiao tonight.
I believe Bradley when he says this. I think he does have a great game plan that they’ve got in store for the Filipino star that will send him skittering into retirement with a disappointing loss that could result in a kneejerk reaction from his Filipino voters in the Philippines, who might not vote him into office after this loss.
It’s natural for people of the world to love winners and despise the losers. I’m not thinking that Pacquiao will be despised by his fans. But I also don’t think those fans are going to be too excited about voting for someone who was just soundly beaten by Bradley, especially if it’s a knockout loss. If Pacquiao, I’d be very careful in how I pressure Bradley tonight, because the last thing that Pacquiao needs is to get knocked out by Bradley like he was in his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
Pacquiao supplied most of the power by running straight into Marquez’s fist in the 6th round. I think even the weakest puncher in the welterweight division would have knocked Pacquiao out on that night with the way that he ran into Marquez’s outstretched fist. It was out of a cartoon, I swear.
As of last week, the tickets for the Pacquiao-Bradley 3 fight still weren’t sold out for the MGM Grand in Las Vegs, Nevada. If that’s not a sign that there’s not any interest in this fight, then I don’t know what is.
The uindercard has WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham defending his title against Top Rank fighter Gilberto Ramirez in the co-feature fight. That’s not a big enough fight to attract fans unfortunately. We can only hope the judges get the scoring right for that fight because it would be bad if there’s controversy that follows Pacquiao and Bradley into the ring when they come on directly after the Abraham-Ramirez fight.
Arum thinks Ramirez is going to be a big star, but I don’t see the talent in the 24-year-old Ramirez. He just looks to me to be an oversized fighter with zero defense, who should be fighting in the light heavyweight division rather than melting down to fight in the super middleweight division. Abraham should be able to beat him with any problems unless the fight goes to the scorecards and we get some controversial scores.
I’m really hoping that’s not the case because it might taint the card, and I can’t see Ramirez becoming a star in that way. For him to become a star, he needs to beat Abraham without controversy and then go ahead and beat the other super middleweight champions, which I don’t think he can do. I have doubts that Ramirez will be able to stay at super middleweight for much longer, because he seems like he’s battling hard to melt down to 168 to fight in this division.
Look at Ramirez tonight and you tell me if he doesn’t look like a light heavyweight rather than a super middleweight. Ramirez is going to look giant compared to the 5’9” Abraham, and I see that as his only chance of winning this fight based on him being a huge super middleweight.
If Ramirez does win this fight without controversy, then Arum could have a potential replacement for Pacquiao in his Top Rank stable. Ramirez is already speaking better English than Saul “Canelo” Alvarez despite having a later start at learning the language. Ramirez has the potential of becoming a star if he can keep improving and if he wins his fights without controversy.