A growing urgency for Pacquiao
Has Timothy Bradley junked his predictable slap shots to start developing a spear punch similar to the one Juan Manuel Marquez threw in stopping the great Manny Pacquiao cold in 2012?
Latest info from the rival camp says the 32-year-old Bradley “is in pretty good shape already.”
Bradley officially starts training on Feb. 15 but has been locked in solemn sessions with trainer Teddy Atlas in Palm Springs, California.
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“Tim runs early in the morning,” reports Top Rank publicist Lee Samuels. “No cellphones, no music in the gym when Tim and Teddy are working together.”
Bradley has been swearing that Atlas would be his secret weapon against Pacquiao.
That said, there’s no reason to doubt the two are working on something which, Atlas had said, would be unwrapped only on fight night April 9 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
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This early, it would not be wild to speculate Bradley would try to explode something more fearsome than his patented rat-tat-tat blows that were not, in any way, known for power and sharpness.
You see, the third meeting between Pacquiao and Bradley had failed to draw enough interest at first blast.
There was the impromptu verdict the Third Encounter would be no different from the two previous lazy bouts.
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There was a slow sales takeoff. But after some expert tinkering with the publicity and sales hardware, things started to move.
They next tried to market a surefire firefight, not merely a totally different Third Encounter.
After trying to play it cute in the first weeks, Pacquiao snapped and declared he would gun for an emphatic win, a resounding knockout.
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Trainer Freddie Roach chimed in and fueled the urgency by saying it would be Manny by KO in nine.
It’s clear Pacquiao would gun for a big stoppage, the earlier the better, in order to put a sensational close to his sensational career.
Of course, Pacquiao himself can never be sure whether or not Bradley is capable of developing a phantom punch similar to the one Marquez snapped in delivering an unforgettable lights-out stoppage in Las Vegas on Dec. 8, 2012.
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