Can Manny Pacquiao score a KO over Tim Bradley in their third fight? Freddie Roach says Pacquiao has told him he wants a KO this time

By James Slater - 02/03/2016 - Comments

It’s probably fair to say most fans were not exactly blown away with the quite recent announcement that superstar and certain Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao would, in his “last fight,” face former rival Tim Bradley. Fans, most of them anyway, wanted Pac-Man to exit the sport against a young tiger such as a Danny Garcia or a Keith Turman (not that warrior Bradley is either old or in any way a poor fighter, far from it).

But, Manny had his mind made up: he would go out with a second win over Bradley (some would say a third, that close decision victory Bradley scored over Pac-Man back in June of 2012 still being talked about as one of the most shocking, controversial and just plain bad decisions in many a year). How much Pacquiao has left is open to debate (he sure looked nothing like the dynamic terror he once was in his last fight, the disappointing affair with Floyd Mayweather Junior) and it has been a long, long time since the 37-year-old southpaw scored a vicious KO (his 2009 TKO over Miguel Cotto being his last stoppage win). Would a KO over Bradley excite and please Pac-Man’s fans?

If the April 9th fight is indeed to be Pacquiao’s swansong (and his trainer Freddie Roach has his doubts) a decisive KO win over a tough operator who has never previously been stopped would be some way to go out. And, for what it’s worth, Manny has reportedly been telling Roach in training camp how he wants a KO in this, his third go at Bradley.

Speaking with the media at his Wild Card gym this week (in particular to Ring Magazine and their web site), Roach said Pacquiao has not for some time told him when going into a fight that he wants a KO.

“If Manny knocks out Bradley, I’ll be happy,” Roach is quoted as saying by “That’s the only way I’ll be happy. And he told me for this camp he wants a knockout. That’s the first time he’s told me that in a long, long time.”

Bradley will surely take some shifting though, A freakishly tough, not to mention brave, customer, Bradley and his chin stood up to everything Pacquiao, Ruslan Provodnikov, Diego Chaves, Kendal Holt, Juan Manuel Marquez and a number of other top fighters were able to hit him/it with. Yes, Bradley has been on the canvas before, but no-one has been able to make him stay there. It would be a real result – maybe even one that would rekindle some of the electrifying excitement Pac-Man was capable of producing in his prime years – if Pacquiao could do it.

As to how much his fighter has left, Roach admits Manny has slipped somewhat, but insists he is still more than capable of getting the job done.

“I think he’s still 80-percent of what he was when he was at his best,” Roach said of his charge. “He’s still up there, he still works really hard, he still has a lot of speed.”

This, Roach is hoping, will be enough for Pacquiao to be able to take out Bradley, a fighter who says he is better than ever and that Pac-Man is not the force he once was. Shall we get ready for another Pacquiao points win? A loss would be a terrible way for the all-time great to go out. Or maybe we could get a fourth fight between these two!