Pacquiao faces tough task against Bradley Indeed, the latest instalment in Manny Pacquiao’s trilogy against American Timothy ‘Desert Storm’ Bradley will not be an easy fight.
The much-awaited showdown is set for the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 9, some 11 months after Pacquiao dropped a unanimous 12-round decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the “Fight of the Century” on May 2, 2015 in the richest fight in boxing history, as well as one of the most anticipated and, ultimately, disappointing. They split their first two bouts.
In their first encounter in June 2012, then unbeaten Bradley won by split decision, which sparked widespread criticism of the judges and an investigation by the Nevada Attorney General’s office. In the eyes of many, Pacquiao easily beat Bradley.
In their grudge rematch two years later in the same arena in Las Vegas where they first met, it was the Filipino ring legend who emerged triumphant.
But unlike their first meeting, this time there was no argument, there wasn’t any controversy from the judges after watching a skillful exhibition of speed, power and footwork from the Filipino southpaw, the only fighter in boxing history to win world titles in eight weight divisions. His victory righted one of the biggest perceived wrongs in recent boxing history. Pacquiao was on an amazing 15-fight winning streak when Bradley was awarded that dubious split decision. However, despite his advantage in nearly all categories – speed, skill, experience, talent, power and charisma – Pacquiao still had to pursue and pepper the tough-as-nails Bradley around the ring with an aggressive performance recalling the “Pacman” in his prime.
Pacquiao has already announced that his fight with Bradley, and should he win a senate seat, will be his curtain call from the world of professional boxing. So this could be the last one before ending his history-coated career and retiring to a life of politics. The fighting congressman is confident that by the middle of May he would have been elected senator, and at that point he cannot engage in boxing anymore because he needs to focus full time on the senate.
Should that happen, he would be following Mayweather into retirement. Mayweather (49-0) returned for his farewell bout by easily outpointing Andre Berto on Sept. 12 and then retired, as he said he would, though many believe he would still return in the ring. But for Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) to win again against the current WBO welterweight champion Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs), he will have to work for 12 rounds. In a title defence against Brandon Rio last November, Bradley looked very sharp. And for Pacquiao, the long layoff and all the political stuff in running for a senate seat is bound to make it even more difficult for him. Then we also have to consider the age factor. The fighting congressman is 37 years old while Bradley is five years younger.
And of course, health will also be a big issue for the Fighter of the Decade. Will Pacquiao be perfectly fit against Bradley? Will his speed, power and agility still be there?
Remember, after losing to Mayweather, he has been out of action and he spent the rest of the year recovering from shoulder surgery after tearing his rotator cuff ahead of the $500 million megafight.
One thing is certain. The third bout will be more exciting yet unpredictable. Once and for all, it will be going to settle the issue on who is really the better fighter between Pacquiao and Bradley.(Philboxing/GDNews)