MANILA, Philippines – In order to extend his career, Manny Pacquiao will have to secure a dominant victory against current WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.
But for boxing analyst Larry Merchant, Pacquiao might not outfox a boxer like Bradley.
“Manny’s impressive in the sense that he’s a veteran fighter who’s still going after it. He’s still not over satisfied but now he’s got to show that he can go back to an earlier version of himself to beat a guy like Bradley,” Merchant said in an interview with Hustle Boss.
He said the only way for Pacquiao to win against an evasive Bradley is to become the high-volume puncher that he was years ago.
Merchant said that the Filipino boxer may have shown his crafty side against Brandon Rios, but he pointed out that Bradley is a faster and more polished boxer compared to the Mexican-American.
“Freddie’s a realist and Freddie likes guys who go for it and I think he’s going to try to convince Manny that he’s got to revert to that great year he had when he stopped De La Hoya and Hatton and Cotto,” he said.
“He hasn’t stopped anybody since but he’s got to be a positive force in the ring against a fighter like Bradley who has shown his versatility in his recent fights,” added the former HBO color commentator.
But boxing promoter Bob Arum believes that Pacquiao can unleash the same warrior of old come April 12.
“I know from what I'm hearing from Freddie and Manny, and watching at that Wild Card, that Manny will be 100% prepared and will give a vintage Manny Pacquiao performance on April 12," said Arum in a teleconference with the international boxing media.
"I'm really excited. I mean, Manny is coming in with a whole new attitude. You're going to see the best of Manny Pacquiao on April 12, and Tim Bradley now is not the Tim Bradley that fought Manny 2 years ago," Arum said.