Boxing analyst Larry Merchant believes Filipino boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is in for a rough night if he chooses to once again fight unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr. in a rematch.
Pacquiao’s promoters at Top Rank are working on a deal that will give the Filipino boxer a chance to avenge his June 2012 defeat at the hands of Bradley, although chief executive Bob Arum has said the deal is not yet final.
Speaking to Boxing Scene, Merchant said if Pacquiao’s last fight against Brandon Rios was anything to go by, then the former pound-for-pound king should have his hands full against Bradley.
“I think if he’s going to fight Bradley, (who) seems to be the opponent of choice at the moment, I think that’s a very tough fight for him,” said Merchant.
Pacquiao’s performance against Rios – which saw the Filipino idol rout the overmatched “Bam Bam” over 12 rounds – was not enough to convince Merchant that he can still fight at an elite level.
“It did not answer it for me. It showed that he’s a very special athlete who was able to make yet another reinvention of himself,” said Merchant.
“Whether he can beat an elite opponent using that style, or if he has yet another gear, we don’t know,” he added.
Pacquiao will return to the ring on April 12.