WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (31-0, 12 KO’s) isn’t known for his punching power, but he feels that his April 12th rematch with former 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO’s) is going to end with one of them getting knocked out in front of a large pay-per-view crowd on HBO, and live at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bradley’s only way of getting a knockout of Pacquiao is if he can catch him with something while he’s running in. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach practically has him brainwashed with the belief that he’s got to fight for a full 3 minutes of every round. That’s a good plan to follow when you’ve got a younger fighter with a strong chin and not a lot of mileage on him. But Pacquiao is 35, and he’s been in countless difficult fights during his career. He also was knocked out badly by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, and not had a hard fight since then.
The only fight Pacquiao has been in since the Marquez fight was against Brandon Rios, who is basically just a lightweight who ate his way to the welterweight division rather than grew into it.
“I just feel this fight won’t go the distance,” Bradley said to Radio Raheem. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win, and at the end of the night I’ll be victorious. He can be overly aggressive, but most guys when they’re in the ring with me and they get overly aggressive, they get counter punched, they get hit upside the head and then they back off. We’ll see how long that aggressiveness lasts when he gets inside the ring with me.”
You’ve got to like Bradley’s confidence. He’s one of the most confident fighters you’ll see in the sport of boxing. However, he’s also too confident and seems to appraise his talent way too high. Bradley’s a decent fighter, but he’s not in the same class as a number of the other welterweights in the division, including Pacquiao. If Bradley is able to beat Pacquiao again then it’ll be a good sign that Pacquiao needs to retire, because he shouldn’t lose to him if he’s on his game.
Raheem asked Bradley about what he’s going to do if he beats Pacquiao, but Bradley didn’t want to bite on the question. He’s obviously going to fight the winner of the Marquez vs. Mike Alvarado fight later this year. After that, Bradley will likely be back in the ring with Pacquiao for a third fight. He’s not going to fight any of the Golden Boy Promotions fighters or someone like Floyd Mayweather Jr., because he recently re-signed with Top Rank for several years. Bradley will be facing largely Top Rank fighters until his contract ends, so it’s possible we could see him facing Pacquiao 2-3 more times, maybe even more than that.