International boxing promoter Bob Arum believes that Manny Pacquiao must fight smarter if he expects to defeat Timothy Bradley.
Arum, who is promoting the much awaited rematch of Pacquiao and Bradley on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, said the eight world-division titleholder should not rely only on his vaunted attributes like speed, power and timing, but also on mental skill.
“Look, Bradley’s best chance to win the fight is to have Manny fight a stupid fight – like Manny ended up with fighting Juan Manuel Marquez,” the 82-year-old Arum told reporter Colin Linneweber of Boxing Examiner.com on Tuesday, the day Pacquiao arrived in Las Vegas for the last leg of his training.
Arum, who started off Pacquiao on the road to world boxing stardom in 2006 when he signed him with Top Rank Promotion, said the 35-year-old Filipino will lose if he does not fight intelligently.
He said Pacquiao when he was knocked out by Marquez in December 2013 because he fought mindlessly.
“He walks in to punches and he gives no credence to his opponent. You can’t do that in boxing at this level – you get hit on the chin and no matter what kind of chin you have, if you’re not looking at the punch, it can hurt you,” Arum said.
As the Pacquiao camp settled in Los Angeles, his long-time trainer Freddie Roach told the undefeated Bradley, the 31-year-old reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, the time for loose talk is over.
“Talk is talk,” Roach told Chris Robinson of Hustle Boss.com. “It doesn’t mean anything. We’ll see you in the ring.”
In their first meeting in June 2012, Pacquiao lost by split decision before losing another bout – that time to Marquez via sixth round knockout. Pacquiao bounced back by beating Brandon Rios in Macau, China, last November to capture the WBO international welterweight belt.
Roach said he is happy with the way Pacquiao trained from Day 1 in General Santos City to his final stage of training at the Wildcard gym in Los Angeles, California.
“His discipline is very good,” Roach added to Hustle Boss.com. “I brought five sparring partners and they’re all giving me a little bit of what I want. I’m very happy where he’s at right now and I’m very anxious to get this guy out of our way.”
JOSEF T. RAMOS