Suddenly, Vegas air thick with KO rumors | Inquirer Sports

Suddenly, Vegas air thick with KO rumors

03:19 AM April 10, 2016

BEFORE giving his final prefight order, the famous American boxing trainer Freddie Roach had been swearing Manny Pacquiao would not be going for an outright knockout.
Ditto with Pacquiao, loving and sweet in the final press con, who stressed he would not chase a stoppage, unlike in his losing try against Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May.
Look out. Roach had just called for a knockout, scant hours before yesterday’s weigh-in for what finally promises to be a real war at the Las Vegas MGM Grand.
* * *
That’s the final command: a resounding KO, after Roach had succeeded in convincing Pacquiao to forego a final workout over fears the underweight Filipino superhero could succumb to the spectre of an on-fight burnout.
Will Pacquiao succeed in throwing and landing the heavy bombs from a relatively flimsy frame?
But of course, if you ask Roach who sounded deathly sure Pacquiao, feared king of southpaws, could in fact also hit the jackpot with his right hand, whose rotator cup had to be repaired after the Mayweather fiasco.
* * *
Meanwhile, Timothy Bradley Jr., who had allowed himself to bloat to 153 pounds a week before the 147-lb showdown, tipped the scales splendidly at 146.5 lb. He was described as muscular.
Pacquiao, who had drenched to as low as 140 lb, made it at 145.5 lb. He was described as trim.
It would be known inside the ring who between the rivals employed the wiser poundage control on the way to the final weight test.
* * *
The weigh-in session brought out what both camps had tried to conceal: Both Pacquiao and Bradley would not hesitate to score a stoppage.
Yes, Bradley, who’s been stressing they would prefer to fight a tactical fight, stay focused, and stick to a severe plot three minutes at a time, suddenly announced they “should be ready for the whuppin” while adding Pacquiao fans would be in for a big disappointment.
For his part, Pacquiao promised to fight better than he did against Mayweather and bring out the fight he had in training.
* * *
This sudden change in temper from the main protagonists was also seen as a belated rouser, a desperate bid to heighten the uncertainty and help the flagging pay-per-view merchandising.
There are bigger questions that should be answered during the moment of truth.
Will Bradley, resharpened through the mechanical tinkering of his new trainer, prove to be a perfect robot, and rule like a hybrid boxing beast?
Or will Pacquiao land the perfect punch which, as Roach predicted, would shut up the victim and reduce Bradley to a stammering statue.
It’s the perfect puncher versus the perfect robot. Let the perfect warrior win.

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TAGS: Pacquiao Last Fight opinion, Sports

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