Real war the third time around | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Real war the third time around

/ 01:42 AM April 09, 2016
Manny Pacquiao (left) and Timothy Bradley. AP FILE PHOTO

Manny Pacquiao (left) and Timothy Bradley. AP FILE PHOTO

THERE’S a possible Fight of the Year cooking down the Las Vegas strip, but don’t look hard at Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan. Their main encounter doesn’t take place until

the Cinco de Mayo (May 7) weekend yet.

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But that’s my top candidate, cries veteran international referee Bruce McTavish, WBC’s most outstanding referee in 2015.

Khan is smaller, patently inferior, the famous ring official gets reminded.

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“Brains, utak,” McTavish defends Khan.
* * *
Yes, Canelo versus Khan, despite the disparity, should be counted in as possible best fight of 2016.

OK, no flag has so far been raised but, with the new hot interest being drawn by the main offering at the MGM Grand Las Vegas this weekend, shouldn’t the third encounter between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley also start being listed as Fight of the Year candidate?

For one, fresh bets, obviously from American home fans, have started to pour for Bradley, thereby narrowing the once awful gap over the sportsbook windows in Las Vegas to less than 2-1 (for Pacquiao).
* * *
It’s indeed too early to tell if Pacquiao-Bradley Part 3 could end up stealing the thunder ahead from the hotly hyped Alvarez-Khan bout.

For starters, the Pacquiao-Bradley trilogy took off inauspiciously, likened to a tough burned steak that’s being re-invented.
There was nothing new to see or discover, and the third meeting could dip ignominously into a ho-hum rehash of Pacquiao’s vast superiority.
* * *
Meanwhile, Bradley proceeded to train in seclusion under the respected Teddy Atlas in Palm Springs.

For his part, Pacquiao started working out a little late in his General Santos City camp.
Pacquiao was next joined by trainer Freddie Roach in GenSan.
* * *
There would be no explanation why Pacquiao had decided to pack up ahead and fly to California for a full-blast regimen under Roach.

This was totally unexpected. Pacquiao had supposedly been keeping himself trim and fit away from the boxing ring. But Roach would come up with a verdict after Pacquiao’s first workout at Wild Card that the Filipino boxing superhero has slowed down.

This was followed by two canceled workouts in California due to fatigue.
* * *
Still Roach went out of his way to assure Pacquiao diehards there was nothing to worry, vowing it would be an explosive, dangerous Pacquiao at his best that Bradley will have to contend with in the third encounter.

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Summing up, it can’t be denied that the Pacquiao-Bradley trilogy has suddenly drawn fresh attention also on the merits of how Atlas has supposedly transformed and resharpened Bradley into a hybrid boxing beast capable of upsetting Pacquiao.

Although Bradley and Atlas trained and plotted behind closed doors, they nevertheless succeeded in sending the strong message that the Third Encounter would be real war.

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TAGS: Boxing, Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao Last Fight opinion, Teddy Atlas, Timothy Bradley
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