Manny Pacquiao (-275) vs Timothy Bradley Jr (+225)
When I first heard about Manny Pacquiao’s (57-6-2, 38 KOs) final fight announcement, my reaction was the same as everyone else’s: “Huh, Pacquiao’s still boxing?” It would’ve made total sense if he had grabbed his sack of gold and disappeared into the wilderness after that awful display dubbed, “The Fight of the Century” (a.k.a. Mayweather vs Pacquiao).
But apparently that’s not how Pac-Man wants to exit the maze. Instead, the 37-year-old will call it a career following his third and final fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. (33-1-1, 13 KOs) on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. No title will be on the line in this fight; instead, it will serve as a rubber match after each fighter won a previous tilt via decision.
Of course, Bradley’s split-decision win over Pacquiao in 2012 was deemed one of the “most controversial wins of all-time,” as most watching scored the fight the other way. That set up a rematch in 2014 in which Pac-Man dominated, 118–110, 116–112, 116–112. The public seems to think that is how the fight will play out this time around, too, but that means there’s value to be found on Bradley’s side.
After all, Pacquiao has fought just once in the last 15 months. That’s partly because, after the Mayweather fight, he revealed that he had a torn rotator cuff, which meant he spent the rest of last year rehabbing. Meanwhile, Bradley had a pair of wins in 2015, a unanimous decision over Jesse Vargas and a knockout of Brandon Rios. The TKO over Rios was a rare sight for Bradley: he’s only had two KOs in his last 17 fights.
The tale of the tape in this one is nearly identical, with Bradley having a slight advantage in reach, but Pacquiao boasting a huge advantage in experience. With almost 30 more fights in his career, it makes sense that this is likely Manny’s last: fatigue must be kicking in. Heck, it may already have. Pacquiao is just 3-3 in his last six bouts.
Even though we’re talking about the great Manny Pacquiao, having a fighter come in this cold and be this heavily favored seems like a set-up for disappointment. I think there is value rolling with Bradley who, under the direction of a new trainer, should be able to correct his past mistakes.
(Photo credit: pixbay (Public Domain).)