LAS VEGAS — Professional boxers flock to MGM Grand Garden Arena here to witness the WBO welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
One of them is Filipino-American boxer Brian Viloria, who said he is expecting a great fight.
“I expect a toe-to-toe battle with Timothy Bradley trying to prove that he belongs to the ring with Manny Pacquiao,” Viloria told Rappler, alluding to Bradley’s much-discussed heart and determination that has some analysts giving the fight to the younger boxer.
“But I think Manny Pacquiao is going to be a little too strong, a little too fast, I think he’s a little too experienced for Manny,” he added.
Viloria said he is expecting Pacquiao to take it home in 12 rounds via unanimous decision.
‘Lot to prove’
Viloria joined other sports reporters and analysts in saying that Pacquiao, after his unimpressive win over Juan Manuel Marquez in November, has a lot to prove. He said he believes the fight will be “intriguing” as it will “show where everybody stands at this point.”
“He [Pacquiao] has a lot to prove and to tell people that he is still the number one pound-for-pound fighter in this era,” said Viloria.
He said that while some have expressed concern about the extra distraction brought about by late-night bible studies, Pacquiao has, as he has proven in past fights, always thrived in environments where he is surrounded by many people.
Viloria added that he is expecting a lot of headbutts in the fight with Bradley, an orthodox fighter, and Pacquiao, a southpaw, especially because Bradley has been known to come in with his head when throwing a right hand.
Viloria also told Rappler that he saw no truth in the supposed decline of Pacquiao.
“You know everybody said that about me after my losses and my lackluster performance before I won my last 3 to 4 fights,” he said. “That kinda motivated me to prove my doubters wrong. I think it’ll be the same way for Manny.”
Viloria, who has been watching Pacquiao, said he is not concerned at all by people saying this is the beginning of the end for the eight-division world champion.
“I’ve ssen him in the last day of training camp and he looked great. He had that quiet confidence to him,” Viloria said. “I think Manny is that resilient fighter that always comes back and proves to everybody that he is who he is.” – Rappler.com
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