As if the first two fights weren’t already instant classics, perennial boxing favorite and Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KO’s) feels his third fight with American Timothy “The Desert Storm” Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KO’s) will be the most furious. The pair are scheduled for a 12-round welterweight contest at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on April 9.
Pacquiao recently held a media workout at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, and he talked about what he expects coming into the fight against Bradley.
“I’m expecting a good fight with more action in the ring compared to the last two fights that we had,” said Pacquiao, talking to reporters ringside as he punched the mitts with coach Roach.
The first fight didn’t go as planned for Pacquiao, with Bradley taking a hotly-contested split decision. The judges’ verdict became one of the most unpopular rulings in the history of the sport.
In the rematch, Pacquiao did exactly the same thing, this time with more resistance from Bradley but he was able to earn the unanimous decision which eluded him in the first bout.
Although majority of fans feel that Pacquiao won both fights handily, the rubber match with Bradley was still chosen over popular picks Terence Crawford and Amir Khan, much to the dismay of those hoping for a new challenge for the Filipino star.
What we are left with is ultimately a third fight that no one really wanted to see.
If indeed this turns out to be Pacquiao’s last hurrah, as he so claims it is, then going out against Bradley just isn’t ideal. But we’re here now and we have to stick with what’s on the table. Pacquiao’s promise of more action is telling for a final fight, and rightfully so.
The final surprise Pacquiao has for fans before he leaves the sport looks to be that of a knockout victory, one that he hasn’t accomplished in over six years.
Should Pacquiao get past Bradley conclusively, it would most certainly open doors for more possible opponents in the future, including the aforementioned Crawford and Khan. And it would be up to Pacquiao if he is to make good on his word to retire. Many feel he will continue to fight on, despite his conviction on retirement.
If Pacquiao does retire, he shall be remembered fondly for his tremendous and historic climb through the weight classes, including his classic trilogies with Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez whom he also fought a fourth time, and Bradley.
When asked if there were some Mexican fighters he would have liked to face outside of his era, Pacquiao gave three names.
“Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho, Michael Carbajal,” said Pacquiao.
Those would have been some legendary battles. – By Carlos Cinco
Follow this writer on Twitter: @CarlosCincoFCB