Boxing analyst Larry Merchant breaks down Pacquiao-Bradley II (Photo: Chris Robinson – www.HustleBoss.com / Chris Farina – Top Rank)
By Chris Robinson
Despite being a slight favorite heading into his rematch with Timothy Bradley, there are some who seem skeptical whether or not Manny Pacquiao will be able to have enough success in the match.
Pacquiao faces off with Bradley on April 12 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be looking for revenge over the Palm Springs native, who bested him via controversial split-decision in June of 2012.
Catching up with longtime boxing analyst Larry Merchant to discuss the fight, he seems to feel that Pacquiao has his work cut out for him.
“I think it’s a tough fight for [Pacquiao],” Merchant stated. “I think that he showed against Rios that he was able to fight a pure boxing style that we hadn’t seen before. He’s made various inventions and reinventions of himself. But I don’t think he’s going to outbox Bradley.
“I think the essence of the fight is [whether he can] stoke up the fire to get Bradley, who’s coming off a couple good wins after their first fight,” Merchant added. “But 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. I don’t think anybody’s too sure who’s going to win this fight.”
Merchant was asked what Freddie Roach might be thinking about the clash and Bradley in particular given he has already had a change to study him in action against his fighter.
“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,” Merchant noted. “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.
“Bradley is a tough matchup at this stage of Pacquiao’s great career,” Merchant said.
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com