Boxing Picks: The Most Respected Minds Talk Bradley vs. Pacquiao

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, April 9, 2016 1:47 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016 1:47 PM UTC

The highly anticipated trilogy showdown between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao is just about here. Let's evaluate our two fighters and cash in our boxing picks Saturday night.

Let's Get Ready to Rumble
There are plenty of boxing fans who will put their money where their mouths are on Saturday night and back either Timothy Bradley or Manny Pacquiao in their boxing picks. But we are not seeking Joe Q. Public's opinion, we are looking for the most respected minds of the sweet science and their take on this high profile rubber match. Without further ado, here we go.

Bob Arum (Boxing Promoter) - “This is a different Timothy Bradley under the aegis of Teddy Atlas,” Arum said at the official fight announcement in December. “This is not me just saying that. The Bradley who fought Rios, whatever you thought about Rios, was a different fighter. It's still Bradley, but a new Bradley with Teddy. And at this point of his career, can Manny handle that? Remember, Manny is also coming off an injury.”

Lyle Fitzsimmons (Writer - CBS Interactive) - Bradley is a good fighter. He's a dedicated athlete. And he's a smart guy. But perhaps most of all, he's driven to reach a historical level that Pacquiao has already long since attained. That fuel – along with the between-rounds shrieks from Atlas -- should keep him on task in the midst of the Filipino's constant aggression. That means a boxing match more than a brawl. And that's good news for Bradley.

Kevin McRae (Member of Boxing Writers Association of America): Conventional wisdom says picking against Manny Pacquiao is a fool’s errand here, so you can go right ahead and call me a fool. Pacquiao has been on the shelf for nearly a year. He's 37 years old, coming off a hugely disappointing loss to Floyd Mayweather where he wasn't competitive and has been vilified from coast to coast for his dehumanizing rhetoric. Oh, and that bum shoulder. Tim Bradley has more to prove and more left in the tank. He finally gets the elusive, non-controversial victory over Pacquiao via unanimous decision.

Jonathan Snowden (Writer - Bleacher Report): It's tough to choose a winner when both fighters are so clearly past their sell-by dates. If past is prologue, Pacquiao easily won the first fight no matter what. The second bout was much closer, but it was still clearly Manny's moment. But there's a big difference between 35 and 37. And in this rubber match, Pacquiao will be dealing with a bum shoulder to go along with his persistent leg problems. I have a feeling that Bradley, despite struggles of his own in recent fights, will take advantage of his younger legs and outbox the fading legend en route to his first legitimate win in this series. Bradley by split decision.

*Editor's Note: Timothy Bradley is 32 not 35.

Anthony Riccobono  (Writer - Countering Pacquaio’s punches will be easier said than done. Even after two decades of professional fights, the eight-division world champion remains difficult to hit. He forced Bradley to miss on more than 77 percent of his attempted punches, and was seemingly in control for the entirety of both fights. Even if he’s not quite the same boxer that he once was, Pacquiao should have the necessary skills to hold off Bradley yet again.


Swinger's Final Thought
Teddy Atlas training and cornering Timothy Bradley has already made an enormous difference. Bradley notched his first TKO in 4 ½ years in his last bout when he stopped Brandon Rios. Atlas made his debut in Bradley's corner in that one, replacing longtime trainer Joel Diaz and it showed. It was a renewed and reinvigorated Timothy Bradley that dazzled in November and retained his WBO welterweight title when he rendered Rios defenseless in the ninth round.

Manny Pacquiao has had shoulder surgery and his last foray inside the squared circle saw him unable to chase and connect with champion Floyd Mayweather. Of course, it was the Floyd Mayweather he was fighting but Pac Man could not turn that fight into a war like he wanted to but was instead relegated to a fencing match with the point boxing king Mayweather. While Bradley is no Mayweather, it is a 37-year-old Pacquiao with almost a year's worth of ring rust who will be trying to outmuscle the new look Bradley.

Due to Pacquiao's dominating performances in his previous two matches against Bradley the boxing odds are yet another reason to climb aboard the Bradley bandwagon. Let's take a very live dog here and watch him spoil Manny's farewell match.

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Free Boxing Pick: Bradley +180
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

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