MANILA, Philippines – Timothy Bradley Jr. revealed that he is preparing for Manny Pacquiao’s best version as both men are set to square off against each other for the third time on April 9 (April 10 Manila time).
Although Pacquiao is coming off a nearly year-long layoff due to a shoulder injury, Bradley expects that the 37-year-old pugilst from General Santos City will bring his A-game in his farewell fight.
“I’m not depending on Manny Pacquiao to be weak in any way. I think he’s going to be strong and I think he’s going to be highly motivated, and he’s going to be looking to take my head off,” he said in a recent conference call.
Pacquiao blamed his injured right shoulder for his poor performance in his May 2015 blockbuster versus Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Boxing’s only 8-division world champion injured his right shoulder 3 weeks before the highly-anticipated encounter with Mayweather and was forced to take several days off from sparring as he nursed the aforementioned ailment.
An MRI exam subsequently showed a rotator cuff tear on Pacquiao’s shoulder, but his camp opted to proceed with the fight since he made good progress and looked like he could still compete.
While Mayweather landed 148 of 435 punches during the 12-round title unification tussle, Pacquiao connected with just 81 of 429 as his aggressive style was neutralized by his opponent’s flashy defense and ring generalship.
Pacquiao revealed that the shoulder injury limited him from throwing more shots, compelling him to undergo surgery 4 days after the fight.
Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum was impressed with Pacquiao’s performance in training camp and confided that the Filipino boxing icon is back in his fearsome form.
Arum also noticed that Pacquiao was using his right hand frequently in his 8-round sparring sessions with Ghislain Maduma and Lydell Rhodes.
Freddie Roach, who has been Pacquiao’s boxing coach since his title-winning performance against Lehlo Ledwaba for the IBF super bantamweight belt in June 2001, stressed that his valued pupil aims for a storybook ending to his professional career by knocking out Bradley.
Pacquiao has tallied 38 knockouts in 57 his 57 wins, but he has not stopped an opponent in the ring since November 2009 when he routed Miguel Cotto via twelfth-round technical knockout.
Even if Pacquiao has not scored a knockout triumph since 2009, Bradley is not going to be complacent when he steps into the squared-circle with pesky Pinoy southpaw.
“He hasn’t knocked anybody out in a very long time. It could be the weight. It could be the weight class. He is at 147 pounds. It could be that, but I’m not depending on any decline in Manny Pacquiao. I’m not depending on any of those things,” he stated. – Rappler.com
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