Manny Pacquiao eating a left from Juan Manuel Marquez during their 4th encounter (Photo: Chris Farina -Top Rank)
By Chris Robinson
It’s officially fight week in Las Vegas, as the boxing world eyes this weekend’s Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley rematch from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The subplots have been well-documented and each man was said to have had an excellent training camp in anticipation of another high-stakes encounter.
Speaking with Oakland-based trainer Virgil Hunter about the matchup during a recent swing through Northern California, the low key coach can’t help but to be intrigued by the matchup.
“I think Pacquiao is going to have revenge on his mind,” Hunter stated boldly. “Bradley will have on his mind that ‘I fought you once and I know I can do better.’ With Pacquiao personally stating that he’s going to knock Tim out, that’s all the ingredients of a good, good fight.”
What Hunter does seem to question is whether or not Pacquiao has fully recovered from his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012.
“I believe a knockout of that caliber always serves notice to the recipient of that punch,” said Hunter of Pacquiao, who did return this past November to decision Brandon Rios over twelve rounds.
“It’s just no way around it,” Hunter added. “I think that that’s going to be a major factor in the fight but at the same time they probably don’t believe that Tim can land the punches back. I feel like they are going to be much more aggressive and I think that Tim realizes what he needs to do and I wouldn’t be surprised if he lets go of a couple punches with the intent of knocking Manny out.”
Hunter feels that Bradley’s past tests have more than prepared him enough for what he faces in another encounter with one of this generation’s finest pugilists.
“Timothy has proven to be a winner,” Hunter said with respect. “And that sums it up right there. He’s probably been written off in four to five fights that he proved the critics wrong. I think he’s in a good position going on that moment and he seems to be real jacked about this upcoming bout and I think he’s going to perform.”
*** Want more from Camp Pacquiao? Please click the thumbnail for an exclusive look at sparring partner Lydell Rhodes’ time in Los Angeles…
“Photos from the Wild Card Boxing Club and other spots in Los Angeles as undefeated lightweight prospect Lydell Rhodes (19-0, 9 KO’s) enjoys his time as a chief sparring for eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Check out the thumbnail on the left for an all-access look at Rhodes in training, running Griffith Park, chilling with Miguel Cotto, and more.”
*** FOR A BONUS VISIT back in Pacquiao’s career in photos, check the thumbnails below…
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com