Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum said that Manny Pacquiao’s right hand is now deadlier compared to the time that he fought former world champion Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. The Filipino ring icon is set to fight American Timothy Bradley for the third time on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Manny looks absolutely tremendous,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call after observing Pacquiao’s training at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles, California. “His right hand is so powerful, I’m impressed.”
“It is more powerful and faster than the last time he fought De La Hoya.”
After losing to unbeaten Floyd May¬weather Jr. last May via unanimous decision, Pacquiao underwent a surgery to repair his right ro¬tator cuff. He returned to training after six months of recuperation.
But Arum also warned Pacquiao (57-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) that Bradley (33-1-1 record with 13 knockouts) is a different fighter now, a result of his training under his new coach Teddy Atlas who replaced Joel Diaz.
“Manny is looking for a knockout in this fight and same goes with Bradley,” added Arum. “Either way, there is going to be a knockout winner in this fight. Manny is very serious in training as what I’ve seen.”
Under Atlas’ tutelage, Bradley posted two victories; first over Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision last June and second, over Brandon Rios via technical knockout last November.
Arum also said that he believes Pacquiao is not retiring soon, “I don’t think so. You can ask that question to him, but I don’t believe that it is going to be his last [fight].”
Arum predicted that the ticket sales of the third Pacman vs Bradley would surpass the first two match ups of the two boxers. “Eighty percent of the tickets are already sold and we are expecting that one week prior the fight, it is going to be sold out,” he said.
Bradley, 32, scored a split decision win over Pacquiao in their June 2012 first bout. Six months later, Pacquiao suffered a terrible sixth round technical knockout loss to his Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez also at the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao returned to the ring November of 2013 and beat Rios via majority decision.
Pacquiao recaptured the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt from Bradley in April 2014 also in Los Angeles before beating American Chris Algieri via unanimous decision in November of the same year.
JOSEF T. RAMOS