Superstar Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will fight for the third time on Saturday 9th April 2016 at MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, NV.
It is expected to be Pacquiao’s last fight before focusing his energy on his Philippine Political Career.
Controversy Seeing Death Threats
In 2012 Bradley faced Pacquiao for the first time and was awarded a highly controversial decision. I believe, Bradley came into the fight a bit nervous and decided to do a few interesting things, like not wearing socks to bring out his inner ‘Mike Tyson’. That alleged to be one of the factors that caused Bradley to injure his ankle in the second round. The other thing was Bradley awkwardly trying to avoid Pacquiao’s flurries. The fight was competitive, but when the decision was announced, it was considered as a very controversial decision. The crowd booed, commentators complained, and even the WBC reviewed the fight and said Pacquiao should have been awarded the decision.
Following this decision Bradley was unfairly targeted by Pacquiao fans and even received death threats.
The controversy surrounding that decision made it difficult for Bradley to pick up another big fight until he fought and defeated Ruslan Provodnikov. The fight was very close fight, and was named ‘2013 Fight of the Year’ by The Ring Magazine.
Next Bradley defeated Pacquiao’s biggest rival Juan Manuel Márquez, which was Márquez’s first fight after he knocked Pacquiao out.
Second Encounter Clear Win
Bradley and Pacquiao met again in 2014. It happened after Pacquaio defeated sluggish Brandon Rios in Macau, which was also his comeback fight after a KO loss to Marquez a year earlier.
Much of the fight was spent with Bradley throwing huge clumsy punches in a failed effort to emulate Marquez’s knockout of Pacquiao. That fatigued Bradley enough for Pacquiao to dominate the late rounds, eventually winning by a clear wide margin.
Since, Pacquiao outclassed Chris Algieri to a lopsided decision, which involved Algieri been knocked down six times. Pacquiao also fought and lost to Floyd Mayweather in their highly anticipated ‘Fight of the Century’. Either before or during the Mayweather fight, Pacquiao received a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, which required surgery and time off.
A big selling point is the perceived improvement made by Bradley since changing his trainer to famous boxing commentator and analyst Teddy Atlas. Though, the only fight they have been tested together as a team has been against an unmotivated and immobile Brandon Rios. Bradley won by TKO. Out of frustration with his performance Rios retired from fighting during the post fight interview.
During the fight Teddy Atlas provided a very entertaining and passionate speech to Bradley explaining how they were ‘firemen who love the heat’. It will be interesting to see how they handle the heat thrown their way by a fast punching Pacquiao.
I see this fight going much the same way as their previous two encounters. I see Pacquiao staying calm and controlling the fight. I’ll be wagering on a Pacquiao points decision in his last fight too.
As is usually the case with a Top Rank card, the undercard of the Pacquiao v Bradley 3 bout is completely uninspiring.
Pacquiao v Bradley 3 airs in Australia on Sunday, April 10 at 11am AEST.