Manny Pacquiao will take on Timothy Bradley for the third time on April 9 at MGM Grand Las Vegas and while this isn’t the fight that boxing fans are hoping for, let me tell you why Pacquiao needs this fight more than ever.
Pacquiao, with 57 wins (38 knockout victories), 6 losses (3 knockouts) and 2 draws record, has achieved so many things throughout his career, not only in boxing but also in politics among other things. Well, I really don’t want to mention his basketball and acting skills coz I have to admit he sucks! But whatever happens in April, it will not change the fact that he is the first and only eight-division world champion that stops everything in his country whenever he fights. Zero-crime rate, no vehicles in sight, and unofficial peace agreement occurs between government soldiers and rebels.
But here’s why he needs to win it in one way or another.
A perfect way to end a boxing career
Pacquaio announced that his fight with Bradley will be his farewell bout, as he aims to focus on his political career in the Philippines. Some boxing enthusiasts think that there are more worthy candidates that Pacquiao should have considered other than Bradley such as Terence Crawford and Amir Khan or a fifth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez would have been more palatable.
The two have a 1-1 record after Bradley won a highly controversial split decision to take the WBO welterweight title in 2012 and Pacquiao beat Bradley in a unanimous decision and won back the WBO title in 2014. So the third fight, although useless, could be a great opportunity to bury that first fight.
So if Pacman ends his day on April 9, with most considered as a third straight win over Bradley, although it may seems like an easy exit for Pacquiao, it will still be a perfect way to end a legendary boxing career.
A shot at redemption
Pacquio didn’t look good against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year, even though he fought with a torn rotator cuff. And that fight saw an injured Pacquiao lose to the undefeated champion in what was a giant letdown.
Even if Pacquiao is the favorite to win at -270, the underdog Bradley at +210 should not be underestimated.
Bradley, after “beating” Pacquiao in 2012 was widely ridiculed for the undeserved win. So when he fought Ruslan Provodnikov in 2013, he was determined to change what people thought about him put the Pacquiao fiasco behind him. Bradley took a knee with just seconds remaining, beating the count and hanging on to win the fight on points. He also won a split decision over Juan Manuel Marquez, before a draw against Diego Chaves, followed by a decision win over Jessie Vargas. In November last year, with new trainer Teddy Atlas in his corner, he won a 9th-round KO over Brandon Rios.
But Manny Pacquiao doesn’t believe that the addition of trainer can make a difference in their third meeting. The motivation is clear, Pacquiao just doesn’t want a victory, but he aims to have a knock out win in that fight.
A best electoral campaign
Pacquiao is in the middle of controversy after issuing derogatory remarks toward same-sex couples. Those comments did not only cost him his sponsorships, but has also hurt his political ambitions. Pacquiao after his fight with Bradley aims to win a seat in the Philippine Senate. His promoter has also said he hoped to run for president in 2022 when the 37-year-old meets the age requirement of 40.
The damage is unclear until the next national poll in March whether his recent fall out will alter his political chances but a victory on his last fight will likely bolster his campaign for a Senate seat.
Odds courtesy of Bodog.