Pacquiao Has More to Risk than Bradley
In their Third Clash
By Apolinario Villalobos
As his usual self, Pacquiao made a surprising announcement to face Tim Bradley in a very crucial bout of his life, for he declared that this would be his “farewell fight”, after which he would finally, hang his gloves for good. But, he could have sounded convincing if his announcement was with an accompanying, “win or lose”. Pacquiao has been known to have a habit of breaking promises of retirement, which made his manager raise his hands in desperation, for he unabashedly declared that Manny may change his mind again.
Manny Pacquiao is unquestionably, a Filipino folk hero, having proved that poverty cannot stand in the way of a persevering person with a staunch ambition to succeed. He looks at himself as the inspiration of aspiring, especially, the impoverished Filipino boxers. The nationalistic complex in him expectedly made him declare again, that the fight with Bradley is his offering to the Filipinos, although, many skeptics are hoping that everything will turn out just right in his favor.
His first fight with Bradley was a controversial win of the latter, but Pacquiao drove his point as the rightful victorious during their second fight which he won clearly based on the score cards. But it seems that he was not still convinced by his prowess, as he lost to Marquez, not long afterward. The most probability was that, he could have retired, if he won the fight with Marquez. Clearly, that is what he would like to prove in his bout with Bradley – retire from the ring as a doubtless champion in his own right.
He is 37 and Bradley is 32, a difference of 5 years, which for boxers is insignificant. But, Pacquiao forgot that his health is not as sound today, as years ago when he could spritely move around the ring and deliver deadly jabs. His surprising knockout during an earlier fight was an indication that his brains could no longer bear jolts brought about by powerful punches. His shoulders that aided his wrists as he delivered his deadly punches were likewise no longer reliably strong and enduring. That is the reason why, his “soft” punches were very noticeable during his latest fight. The spectators were frustrated when Pacquiao failed to deliver his deadly punches.
If Pacquiao loses the fight against Bradley, he will be likened to fellow countryman, Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who refused to listen to his friends who had been urging him to retire while still holding on to his crown. His deaf ears brought him flat on his back in the middle of the ring when hit by a whooping jab.
As regards Pacquiao, what can prevent him from pursuing a return bout with Bradley if he loses, could just be the onset of the Philippine national 2016 election, during which he is aiming for a senatorial seat. Nevertheless, it is just hoped that his former ear injury will not cause any dreadful effect on his sight and sense of balance, that his brains will not be jolted much that could bring him to a comatose state, and that his once-injured shoulder will still be intact after the fight.
On the other hand, Bradley, has all the time to recover lost honor just in case luck will not be on his side. And as regards the financial gain?…obviously, it would be handed to him on a platter without much effort on his part. It should be noted that many boxers have been, practically wooing the camp of Pacquiao to pick them for a fight, while Bradley did not.
The Pacquiao-Bradley fight will definitely be the real fight of the century and not the disappointing Pacquiao-Mayweather bout in 2015, as all eyes will be on Pacquiao whose retirement from the ring will be a great loss to boxing (industry?)….if he keeps such promise. Also, if he wins in the Philippine senatorial race, he will go down the boxing history as the only senator-pugilist, as an answer to the feat of Arnold Scwarzenegger – the first body building legend to become Governor of California.