Listen to the exclusive audio of Larry Merchant breaking down Pacquiao vs. Bradley II (Photo: Naoki Fukuda)
By Chris Robinson
Boxing’s next big rematch is on its way, as it was officially announced that Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley will lock horns yet again inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 12.
Bradley won a highly-unpopular split-decision over Pacquiao in June of 2012 and there is definitely some unfinished business on the table.
Catching up with former HBO analyst Larry Merchant over the weekend, he insists the matchup is even on paper.
“I think it’s the fight that had to be made and I think don’t think Pacquiao needs to outbox Bradley,” Merchant revealed. “For me it’s a pick em’ fight.”
Asked what it is about Bradley that resonates, Merchant pointed towards his successful 2013 campaign that saw him win a hellacious firefight against Ruslan Provodnikov before returning to edge Juan Manuel Marquez in competitive chess match.
“His resilience,” said Merchant. “He came back and fought the kind of fight we didn’t know he had in him against Provodnikov. And then he comes back and he beats Marquez. Those are important statements.”
Many saw Pacquiao out boxing Bradley in their first match but Merchant feels that the Filipino star will have to take things even further in the second encounter.
“I question whether Pacquiao can just outbox Bradley,” Merchant said. “I think he’s going to have to outfight him. And we don’t know if that’s where Pacquiao wants to go.”
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com