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Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Pick

Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) vs. Timothy Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs)
When: Saturday, April 9, 2016
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: PPV
Weight Class: Welterweights: 12 Rounds
by Scott of Predictem.com

Bet the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III fight leave blank I will do this line. Thanks!

Betting Odds: Manny Pacquiao -230, Timothy Bradley +190. Bet the fight using your credit card and get a 50% bonus added to your account at Bovada Sportsbook!

Fight Analysis:

Manny Pacquiao climbs into the squared circle for what he says will be the last time, as he faces familiar foe Timothy Bradley in a rubber match. Pacquiao has stated this is his curtain call, bringing to a close one of the more brilliant ring careers in the annals of prizefighting history. It is also a very interesting fight—a third match against a guy in Bradley who is still one of the top fighters in the world.

Pacquiao, 37, has a ton of mileage on his odometer, so this exit seems well-timed. He got the mega-payday against Mayweather, a bout that came too late for Pacman, and he now follows that with this farewell performance. It’s hard to ask more of the man, who took a heck of a long walk from a kid going nowhere steeped in poverty to an international superstar and the most famous man in the Philippines. At the same time, he’s been through the ringer and then some. He won his first world title 35 pounds and 18 years ago. He put a lot of demands on his body, rising through an unprecedented amount of weight classes to take on the best in the world. More often than not, he shined, but the toll was still exacted through nearly two decades of taking on good fighters that kept getting bigger and bigger.

The idea of a fighter already announcing retirement and still getting in the ring can conjure a few different notions. The sport of boxing is one that requires more than just showing up. It takes a certain level of whole-hearted commitment and that is hard to produce when you already have one foot out the door. But then again, that light at the end of the tunnel can have an energizing affect. You’d think a fighter like Pacquiao who was able to remain hungry after years of making millions of dollars could stoke the fires for one more go-around.

By the same token, there is a justified feeling that Pacquiao is breaking down at a pretty accelerated rate. He held up well over the years, but he is still winless since 2014. He wasn’t terribly competitive against Mayweather and even if you attribute that to injury, that doesn’t really refute the belief that he is breaking down. Whether it be from actual ring erosion or injuries, the result is the same—a fighter who is no longer altogether bankable physically.

Pacquiao and Bradley fought in 2012 and 2014. Their first fight produced a scandalous decision, with Bradley getting the undeserved nod. He started well in the second fight, before Pacquiao took over en route to a decision win. The end result is that Pacquiao is fighting a man he has essentially defeated twice. In other words, this is not unchartered water for Pacquiao as he approaches the final chapter in his storied career. A matchup going to a trilogy suggests an ultra-competitive rivalry and that isn’t really the case, with Manny really winning both fights with room to spare.

Throwing the possible result of this fight in a different light is Bradley’s recent form, namely in his last fight. Bradley’s career appeared to be on a downward trajectory. Bradley, now 32, was getting hit more and struggling to put any distance between him and fighters he should have been trouncing. There was a draw against Diego Chaves and two wins over Ruslan Provodnikov and Jessie Vargas where he was nearly kayoed and took a lot of punishment.

Prior to Bradley’s last fight against Brandon Rios, he teamed up with new trainer Teddy Atlas. Now maybe he looked really good in stopping Rios because the style suited him and Rios was perhaps a spent force, but he looked as good as he had in years. This is a spot where we need to be careful in not overstating the importance of adding Atlas to the corner. But it just may have put some wind into the sails of a fighter who had grown stagnant. Atlas can certainly be over-the-top and has a high opinion of himself, but to imply that he’s anything less than a strategic master and a fountain of knowledge would be a gross miscalculation. For the right fighter, and Bradley looks to be that kind of guy, Atlas can make a big difference and turn things around dramatically.

That’s where there is daylight for Bradley—in the idea that he’s better than he’s been recently, while Pacquiao is not. And that’s not an entirely unfathomable viewpoint. While Bradley was obviously as pumped-up as he could be for both Pacquiao fights, he had grown stale technically, tactically, and developmentally. For Atlas and Bradley, this fight is a one-shot attempt at redemption. And for Pacquiao, it’s something less perhaps. A fighter with a future has more to fight for. Wanting to go out on a high note, while a good motivation, is something less than a fighter who is still working on things and building toward something. Bradley wants to be the best fighter in the world, not merely go out on a good note.

But there were those two fights these two already had. And neither really paints Bradley’s chances in a good light. Pacquiao was a clear-cut winner in both fights with all things considered and the only thing getting Bradley two additional shots at Pacman was an unjust decision that was rendered in their first encounter. But a cockeyed optimist could paint a slightly different picture. The backlash of the first decision was justifiably harsh, but it may have prevented some of us from acknowledging the fact that Bradley fought him pretty tough. And in the second fight, he was doing pretty well, though he faded in the late rounds. This was also during the slump-period of Bradley’s career, where he had fallen down a few pegs. It really wouldn’t take a gargantuan reversal of form and fortune to shift this into the Bradley column.

In a way, it’s really unprecedented that Pacquiao is still viable this deep into his career. He’s not particularly old at 37 and a lot of fighters had more than 65 fights. But how many fighters other than heavyweights were viable two decades after first winning a world title? And the way he pushed the envelope by taking on the best and usually being the smaller man added an extra tax to his body. And as we’ve seen in recent outings, the failure of his body has become a roadblock to victory.

Pacquiao is a prideful and responsible athlete who won’t approach this fight with anything but a fever pitch. And I don’t think the thoughts of retirement dancing around in his head will have much of a negative affect. He took a lot of time off after the Mayweather fight and should be able to power through one more training camp and demanding fight. But keeping in mind that Bradley was marginally competitive with Pacquiao in two fights, there is room for that gap to narrow in this fight. The combination of Pacquiao’s erosion and Bradley’s newfound energy make this a toss-up fight. And in that case, I’m tempted to take the fighter getting close to 2/1 odds. I’m going with Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley.

My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Timothy Bradley at +190. The addition of Atlas in his corner has made him a better fighter. Combined with the age and increased wear on Pacquiao, this could be a toss-up type fight, with Bradley getting good value at +190. Click here to bet the fight now at Bovada Sportsbook! (Credit cards work there + a 50% bonus!)

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