Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao faces Timothy Bradley Jr. for the third time. This is for the welterweight championship of the world, Saturday night. This could be the 8-division champ’s last fight.
- Date: April 9, 2016 (April 10, Manila)
- Venue: MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Division: Welterweight
- 12 Rounds
- At stake: The Welterweight Championship of the world.
Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), a former world champion in eight weight divisions. He holds victories over boxing greats Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera (twice).
He had also epic battles with Juan Manuel Marquez (one draw, two wins and one loss). Thrice with Erik Morales (one loss and two wins).
After 21-year as pro boxer, this could be Pacquiao’s swan song. Pacquaio’s career started in 1995 with 65 total fights around his waist.
The incumbent congressman is seeking higher post in Philippine politics. He runs for a senatorial seat for the May 2016 national elections. If Pacquiao wins, (most likely as he’s in the magic 12 on most surveys) he would probably hang his gloves for good to focus his job as senator.
“Sa lahat ng mga Pilipino nanawagan po sa ako sa inyong lahat na magkaisa po tayong lahat para sa karangalan ng ating bansa. Baka ito na po ang huling laban ko na masasaksihan ng boung sambayanang Pilipino,” Pacquiao said in Tagalog. (I call on to all the Filipinos to unite for the glory of our country. Maybe this will be my last fight for the Filipino people to see.)
Timothy Bradley Jr. (33-1-1, 13 KOs) won the first Pacquiao fight in one of the most controversial decisions in the history of boxing. On paper, Bradley won, but many believed Pacquiao won convincingly. In 2014, a rematch was set to prove each fighter’s case in the first fight. Bradley lost to a decision. He’s been 2 wins, 0 loss, 1 draw since then.
In a third fight with the Filipino star, Bradley is very motivated. This could be his last chance of beating Pacquiao.
“This is about legacy for me. I’m getting a third crack at it. I’m ready,and if I’m gonna win this fight is now… is now”, said Bradley during the Final press conference Thursday. I’m ready for everything! More than any other fighter that I’ve ever been in… is now! If I’m gonna beat Manny Pacquiao is now. This is my only opportunity… this is my last opportunity.”
Following Floyd Mayweather Jr. retirement, and the inactivity of Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao now sits at the number one spot. While Timothy Bradley is at number two spot on most welterweight rankings.
The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board had Pacquiao and Bradley at number one and two respectively. The board’s championship policy, wherein a fight between number 1 and number 2 warrant a championship. Hence, the vacant welterweight throne will be filled on April 9, not unless we have a draw or no contest.
Fight Prediction Pacquiao vs Bradley Jr III preview and prediction
“One thing I can be sure though is, we’ve prepared Manny as he wished he would, to win …. and win with a bang. Over the last week, I finally am happy with what he’s doing. The last two days of sparring was really good”, said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s long-time trainer.
Although Pacquiao lost the most important fight in his career against Floyd Mayweather Jr, but it doesn’t mean that he’s totally diminished fighter. However the performance of his right arm remains to be seen after the subsequent surgery 11 months ago. Pacquiao lost a clear-cut decision against Floyd in a mind-blowing revenue in May 2015.
“I think Manny still has it. I mean, who hasn’t lost to Mayweather? If you’ve fought him, you’ve lost to him. Mayweather is a great, intelligent fighter. Just by losing to him, that doesn’t mean Pacquiao’s done” said Rios, a common denominator between the two top welterweight, in an article written by Eric Raskin on Inside HBO Boxing.
Bradley stopped Rios in his last outing, having new trainer Teddy Atlas on his corner. Many believed that Atlas played a big factor on Bradley as a fighter. Atlas, respected trainer and a disciple of Cus D’Amato “is a mental strategist whose philosophies seemed like adaptations from Sun Tzu’s diary”, if you let me borrow those quoted words from Rappler’s sports editor Ryan Songalia.
However, I think, at this point in Bradley’s career, may not be able to change drastically his tendencies as a fighter into a fighting style that would guide him to victory. But Atlas’ motivation would definitely push Bradley to its maximum limit. Atlas has a unique way of ensuring his instructions or motivations retained in the brain and stimulate call to action on his fighter. He used to hold his fighter’s face to look at him in the eyes while he gives instruction. This is crucial in a close fight.
I think this fight is gonna be close. A 50-50 fight. The fighter who pushes to the limit, the fighter whose willing to do everything inside the ring, this Saturday night would get the decision. And to me that’s Pacquiao.
Pacquiao by decision.