The future of Manny Pacquiao is now set, as Bob Arum has officially announced that Pacquiao will have a third match with rival Timothy Bradley. The fight will take place at the MGM Grand Arena on April 9th, in what could be the final fight of Pacquiao’s career. With Bradley coming off an impressive win in his last fight and Pacquiao coming off of a disappointing defeat and shoulder surgery, some wonder if the third fight will play out different then the first two.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with trainer Naazim Richardson, I get his views on Timothy Bradley’s last fight with Brandon Rios and if he sees any difference in what Bradley is doing in the ring. Naazim also breaks down a third Bradley-Pacquiao fight and gives his thoughts on who wins it. Additionally, Richardson discusses Manny Pacquiao’s career and talks about what fights he would like to see in 2016. Here is what Naazim Richardson had to say.
Jenna J: Naazim, what did you make out of Timothy Bradley’s last bout against Brandon Rios? Do you think it was the style of Rios that made Bradley look so good?
Naazim Richardson: I like Brandon Rios, I’ve always liked him, he’s fought like that since he was a kid too. Brandon Rios fights like a guy knocked his drink down and said he wasn’t gonna pay for it. Brandon fights, he’ll box a bit but Brandon fights. We saw what Pacquiao could do when his feet didn’t move, we saw with Mike Alvarado did when he came back and he didn’t quite move his feet. Brandon is not adept to a lot of guys moving around because he’s a rumbler, he wants to rumble.
Jenna J: When it comes down to Pacquiao vs. Bradley III, how do you see that fight going now?
Naazim Richardson: Bradley is big enough, strong enough, and adept enough as an athlete to outbox Pacquiao, very much like he did in certain rounds in the first fight, but got tricked by the public. I was in the room with people at the Pacquiao-Bradley fight and people said, “It was close, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a draw,” but after the commentators finished saying “Pacquiao clearly won the fight.” If he clearly won the fight he would have won the fight.
Travis Kauffman lost a fight the other night — which I didn’t think was a robbery. If you claim you’re getting robbed, don’t hang around with your wallet hanging out of your pocket, because if your money is hanging out of your pocket, you are pretty much calling for it. I thought it wasn’t the greatest decision. I would have accepted a draw, but I would have thought that I’m biased. It was a close decision win but it’s boxing.
Tim Bradley can beat anybody in that weight class. On a good night Bradley can beat anybody in that weight class. I know for a fact that his father instilled a lot of things in him as an amateur. Tim Bradley can fight, he’s proven it and he finds a way to win.
Jenna J: Pacquiao may retire after this fight. Once his career is done, where do you rank his legacy? Do you place him up with the greats?
Naazim Richardson: He was a great, he’s one of the greatest in his era. You can argue in his era who was the greatest but he was one of the greats of this era. I thought Mayweather did what he had to do. A lot of people wanted to leave an asterisk next to Mayweathers name but he beat Pacquiao, so we can let that die.
If you had to pick the all time great in this era, it probably would be Floyd and Pacquiao will be a close second or third. Pacquiao and Marquez have to be the next two. Pacquiao definitely should be named as an all time great because of the things he’s done. He’s very consistent, he’s very exciting, what didn’t he give you all?
As a boxing fan try to think about what you like and then try to think about which one of those Pacquiao didn’t give you. If you like punching, there you go. If you like boxing, he’s done that. If you like speed and footwork, he showed you that. You’ve seen him outthink guys, you’ve seen him go gladiator on guys. If you like being surprised and shocked, he fought a few of those for us too. If you like to see a guy take it on the chin and get back up, well he did that too. There’s nothing you can say you want in boxing that Pacquiao didn’t give you.
Jenna J: In 2016, what fight do you think fans can look forward to that could live up to the hype and be worth their money to see?
Naazim Richardson: They call Ward boring cause he’s so smart. But I’m going to tell you a fight the crowd would go see and would love. When they see Kovalev and Ward, they are going to get what they want too.
See what they don’t know is yeah, Kovalev can hurt anybody, but they will be surprised cause Ward can get off the canvas whoop Kovalev’s ass. That’s the kind of dude Ward is, so they better not sleep on that. You’d love to see Danny Jacob’s and Gennady Golovkin, and I’m going to tell you something else, you’re gonna want to go see Golovkin and ‘Kid Chocolate’. They can sleep on Peter Quillin if they want.
Jenna J: What about the fight everyone is talking about and hoping happens next year, Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez?
Naazim Richardson: It’s hard for you to get a disappointing fight with Canelo, because Canelo still has a young bull mentality. He fought Cotto, and I’m telling you every punch he threw had murder, death, die on it. He might have done better if he was not trying to annihilate Cotto, he was not even trying to win by knockout, he was trying to annihilate this guy. He was trying to knock the color out of Cotto’s hair, and Cotto boxed his ass off.
Jenna J: What do you think happens in a fight between Canelo and Gennady Golovkin?
Naazim Richardson: I can see Canelo taking the first one, they got to fight more than once, but I can see Canelo stealing the first one because Canelo can box a little bit. He’s not the move around guy like people think, that’s more for show, but he can box enough for ‘GGG’ and he can stand up to some of that stuff because he’s such a big dude, I think he can stand up to some of that. In the long run you are liable to see Canelo and Ward fighting for the light heavyweight championship.
Jenna J: So if they fight, you think Canelo beats him the first time but they end up rematching?
Naazim Richardson: Yeah, I can see him edging out ‘GGG’ in the first one, if he goes in there with that mentality that he’s going to out point and out score this guy. Canelo has a whole lot of the “I’m going to knock your head off” in him and I’m not sure that is the best approach when dealing with Golovkin.