As the night of April 9 approaches the boxing world finds itself awaiting a match up between “Desert Storm” Timothy Bradley and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. These two will meet for the 3rd time and for the 3rd time the stage will be in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. With each fighter holding a decision victory over the other, both are surely looking for the finality that could move them towards better fights in the future.
Bradley is looking to prove that he really beat Pacquiao in his controversial decision victory on June 9, 2012 while Pacquiao is looking to set up a bigger fight that could be his last. However a loss would still set back the careers of both. It could even possibly cause Pacquiao to retire if he is unable to perform to his desired ability. A loss for Bradley would be even more disastrous considering he is looking to finally get the credit for a win over the future hall of famer. In the rematch of the original controversial contest Pacquiao was able to exhibit excellent footwork and ring generalship in a unanimous decision victory.
Bradley has had 3 bouts since, a dubious split draw with Diego Chaves, a UD over current champion Jessie Vargas, and a big KO victory over Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. A big change occurred in Bradley’s camp before his last fight, the hiring of trainer and ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas. Atlas has trained former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, Alexander Povetkin, and “Iron” Mike Tyson during his career as a trainer. While Pacquiao will remain with Freddy Roach and the Wildcard, the change in Bradley’s camp could finally be the x-factor that may push Bradley to the top of the welterweight division. Bradley looked fantastic in his first fight with Atlas in his corner, scoring his first knockout since 2011, however Manny Pacquiao’s footwork will be much harder to deal with than the flat footed Brandon Rios. The welterweight division will surely be interested in the outcome on April 9 as the results will dictate the future of most 147 pounders.
By Rey Fortaleza