Manny Pacquiao will fight Tim Bradley for a third time on April 9, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley took a highly controversial decision over Pacquiao in 2012 before Manny gained revenge in 2014. Amir Khan and Terence Crawford were also considered as potential opponents this time around, and the announcement of Pacquiao-Bradley III was met with mostly derision from fans. The Filipino insists it will be his final fight while his trainer, Freddie Roach, believes his charge will stick around for a lucrative rematch against Floyd Mayweather, who defeated him last May.
How is Manny doing?
He’s doing very well. He seems motivated for the fight, I talked to him on the phone and I’m happy he’s getting back in the ring. Bradley’s always been a tough guy, he’s got a new trainer [Teddy Atlas] who’s quite the story-teller. We’ll see what happens. His shoulder is fine now, he was playing basketball and the surgery went well and he says he feels fine.
Why did Manny choose to go with a third fight against Bradley?
Well the offer was made from Top Rank, there were a couple of other names out there – we kind of wanted to fight [Terence] Crawford but they don’t think he’s ready for Manny yet. It is 1-1 on paper [laughs]. He’s a good opponent. I don’t think it’ll be Manny’s last fight.
So can you see Manny fighting again in 2016?
Well it depends on what happens with the elections in the Philippines, if he becomes a Senator. But I can see it happening. I just know he still has a lot of fight left in him and once he gets in the gym he trains his a** off and he still has a great work ethic.
What about Adrien Broner, was he ever considered?
His name also came up as an option. Broner’s come to my gym, he’s kind of a friend of mine somehow. I was nice to him when he first started boxing, he was a good kid back then. When he came here he was very respectful and very nice. He’s not a bad kid, he was mentioned but with the struggle between [Broner’s advisor, Al] Haymon and his side of boxing it’s very difficult. That’s really the same thing with Amir Khan [advised by Haymon and promoted by Golden Boy], he’s not with the same company [as Top Rank’s Pacquiao] and it’s difficult to make those fights happen. I don’t know why they let people have monopolies on the fight game because the best should fight the best, that’s the only way boxing can become the top sport in the world. It’s foolish.
Manny’s spoken about his desire to get a rematch with Mayweather; do you think that’s realistic in the near future?
I don’t know if Floyd will definitely come back but Manny will always want to fight him; if we didn’t have that injury in the first fight we would’ve done a lot better. Manny’s watched it over and over and still feels he won the fight and a lot of other people feel the same way. It wasn’t the most exciting fight last time around but if he’s healthy and has two hands, it would be much more exciting.
What do you make of the teaming of Bradley and Teddy Atlas?
I didn’t see much improvement in the last fight [Bradley’s stoppage win over Brandon Rios]. He had a fat, overweight guy in front of him. I don’t think we can give him [Atlas] credit yet. If Bradley does better against Manny, we can give him credit but I don’t think that’ll happen. I don’t think being a cheerleader is the best way to train a fighter.