Manny Pacquiao: Next fight a bad, bad choiceWritten by Leroy Cleveland
Thirty-seven year old fight sensation Manny Pacquiao insists his next fight will likely be his last.
Pacquiao, currently a congressman in the Philippines, is looking to dedicate more time to his political endeavors following his third bout with rival Tim Bradley in April.
If the bout will be PacMan's last hurrah, why has he picked Bradley, a tough, hungry top 10 pound-for-pound fighter?
Is it because he's already beaten Brads (twice, unofficially)?
Unlike his previous bouts against Bradley, Manny will be coming off major shoulder surgery and an 11 month layoff.
Will April's version of the PacMan be as sharp the Manny who faced Bradley in 2012 and 2014?
Forget that's he's 37 and will not have fought in nearly a year... Having undergone surgery for a torn rotator cuff alone is enough for a fighter to seriously consider a tune-up for his return bout.
How prepared will Manny be come April?
Tim, on the other hand, will be as good or better than he was when he fought Manny previously. He's coming off a knockout win over the previously red hot Brandon Rios and desperately wants the respect, adoration and revenue spoils Pacquiao has enjoyed for years.
Mr. Bradley will be as motivated as ever.... But will Manny?
And does Pacquiao have anything to gain from defeating the dangerous Bradley - again?
Given where he is in his career, Manny Pacquiao should have opted to take a page out of the 'Floyd Mayweather' playbook. Hence, he should be facing a relatively safe fighter for his final fight.
There would be no shame in Manny Pacquiao, after a career of facing and defeating boxing's best, settling for an opponent who is fairly marketable but limited against him stylistically.
But instead, the great Pacquiao, who is recovering from an injury and presumably already has one foot out of boxing, will unnecessarily be given a stern test come April.
The decision is very admirable but not wise.
Pacquiao vs Bradley 3 intrigues, no doubt, but fighters should be taking these types of risks early in their careers and when healthy, as Manny and Tim have done.
Let's hope Pacquiao vs Bradley 3 isn't Whitaker vs Trinidad, Leonard vs Norris or Jones vs Calzaghe.