Why is Pacquiao fighting Bradley again?
In speaking on the 1989 Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns rematch in George Kimball’s fantastic read ‘Four King’s, Marvelous Marvin Hagler gave his insight on why Leonard elected to a return bout against Hearns, which also gives us some insight into why Manny Pacquiao made official his choice for a third affair against Timothy Bradley just prior to the clock ticking into 2016.
“Once you’ve defeated a fighter before, it not only gives you confidence, but the knowledge of how to do it. The other guy isn’t going to be able to do much different.”
Many believe without a doubt Congressman Pacquiao won the majority of the twenty-four rounds he has logged against Bradley in their two bouts in 2012 (SD win Bradley) and 2014 (UD Pacquiao), which is exactly the reason why Pacquiao believes without a doubt that he can register another victory within twelve rounds or less.
An audible collective groan was heard throughout the boxing world on December 30 when the fight was made official, which is within reason being that the other candidates for the bout may have provided a more exciting quality of fight, that being against young upstart Terrance Crawford in a passing of the torch type of event, or a clash against one-time stable mate Amir Khan in a sort of grudge match showdown.
There were even rumors of a matchup against Adrien Broner, a rumor that was widespread and ultimately confirmed by Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz in previous weeks.
However, it is Bradley who gets to glove up yet again against the battle worn Pacquiao, who is coming off his May matchup against Floyd Mayweather which saw the Philippine native enter the match with an injured shoulder that later required surgical repair in what was a lackluster fight that now holds the all-time pay-per-view record at north of 4 million.
While Mayweather’s next bout four months later against Andre Berto was viewed as a disappointment at 600,000 buys, it’s hard to see Pacquiao/Bradley III matching that or even reaching 500,000.
It’s a stark contrast in numbers coming off a record number reached earlier this year, yet not entirely unexpected at each point in Mayweather and Pacquiao’s careers; no one expected Mayweather or Pacquiao to face A+ competition their next time out, but at this point for both fighters, this may be all we can expect to get from here on out as both fist throwers reach the end of their careers.
An interesting aspect of Pac-Bradley III was brought up on how Pacquiao, despite coming off a dud of a fight against Mayweather, is still a favorable and liked fighter in the boxing world, just as Bradley is a favorable and liked fighter in the boxing world; it’s just that pitting the two fighters against each other, and for a third time is not seen as a favorable fight.
WBO TITLE AGAIN ON THE LINE
The 25th round between Pacquiao and Bradley will also represent the WBO welterweight title on the line, just as it has been for their two previous fistic conflicts; in the first match in June 2012, Bradley was awarded the title in a split decision win that most of the world had Pacquiao winning, and in their second pairing in April 2014 Pacquiao earned a lopsided unanimous decision win to regain the WBO belt.
The WBO title was on the line when Pacquiao fought Mayweather in May, but the sanctioning body quickly stripped Mayweather following his decision to not pay the organizations fee to fight for the title. Bradley is now seen as the WBO champion after beating Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision to gain interim status in June, then defeating Brandon Rios in November via TKO9.
ARUM IN DEFENSE
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has thrown out his best selling points in regards to the matchup and went headfirst into defending the fight that will take place at the same venue as the previous two fights, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“This is a different Timothy Bradley under the aegis of (trainer) Teddy Atlas,” said Arum. “This is not me just saying that. The Bradley that fought Rios, whatever you thought about Rios, was a different fighter. It’s still Bradley, but a new Bradley with Teddy. And at this point of his career, can Manny handle that? Remember, Manny is also coming off an injury.”
Arum also motioned that unlike Mayweather’s bout against Berto, sold as the undefeated fighters last as a professional, Top Rank Promotions will not be advertising Pacquiao/Bradley III as Pacquiao’s last.
“I am not going to position this as his last fight,” Arum said. “It may very well be his last fight, but I won’t put myself in the position of selling it as his last fight and then he decides he wants to fight again and I look like a schmuck. I’m not sure it is his last fight, despite what he told me.”
If indeed this will not be Pacquiao’s last fight, that may or may not be a relief for diehard fans of the future Hall of Fame inductee. So for diehard fans of Pac Man wondering why Bradley is getting to face their favorite fighter again, all they need to do is refer to Marvin Hagler’s spot on assessment on Leonard Hearns II for a spot on assessment on Pacquiao/Bradley III.
About Raymundo Dioses
A life-long fan with a former boxer's namesake. Professional boxing writer on the beat since 2007.
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