Freddie Roach said during a Wednesday interview with Fight Hype that Manny Pacquiao wants “a spectacular ending” against WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.
The 37-year-old Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) will battle the 32-year-old Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) for a third time on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 5-foot-6 Pacquiao lost a split decision to the 5-foot-6 Bradley in June 2012 when criminally incompetent judges handed “Desert Storm” a victory. In their rematch in April 2014, Pacquiao earned a unanimous decision over Bradley to capture the WBO welterweight strap. The slugging Filipino officially trumped Bradley by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112. Pacquiao, who has recovered from arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, is expected to retire to focus on politics after facing Bradley.
“I personally don’t know if this will be Manny’s last fight but he is training like it’s going to be his last fight,” said Roach, 56, who has been voted Trainer of the Year on six occasions by the BWAA. “Manny has achieved so much in his boxing career and if this is going to be his swan song I know he wants to go out blazing with a spectacular performance. He’s pouring everything into this training. If the opportunity for a knockout presents itself during the fight, he’s going to go for it. He knows how to close the show and he wants this show closed with fireworks. He wants to finish the book on his boxing career with a spectacular ending.”
Pacquiao, who tore his rotator cuff approximately three weeks before getting outclassed by Floyd Mayweather last May, failed to properly inform the Nevada State Athletic Commission about his injury. “The Fighting Pride of the Philippines” was subsequently prohibited from taking an anti-inflammatory shot, fought timidly, and was outscored by the 39-year-old Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) by embarrassing counts of 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110.
In contrast to Pacquiao, Bradley seems to be on the upswing with Teddy Atlas in his corner. In their debut as partners on November 7, Atlas helped Bradley secure a ninth-round TKO over Brandon Rios. Prior to teaming with Atlas, Bradley had gone the distance with every opponent he met since finishing Joel Casamayor in the eighth in November 2011.
Pacquiao used elite footwork and the uncanny ability to deliver punches from all angles to develop into one of the most accomplished prizefighter’s in history. However, graying, slowing and returning from a serious physical and professional setback, it’s hard to predict how Pacquiao will perform in his final match. Unsurprisingly, Roach believes Pacquiao is still a dominant force in the squared circle.
“I do think Manny has more quality fights in him,” said Roach. “His power, speed, work ethic are still superior to most others.”
Meanwhile, Bradley scraps like a man possessed and he is quick, energetic, fearless and blessed with a sturdy chin. Provided he is no longer handcuffed by a pair of feathery fists, Bradley will have an excellent opportunity to legitimately defeat Pacquiao. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, Pacquiao won’t knockout Bradley.
Timothy Bradley will survive “fireworks,” last 36 minutes, and prevent Manny Pacquiao from achieving “a spectacular ending.”