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Roundtable: Pacquiao vs Bradley III

Do you believe this is Manny Pacquiao’s last fight? 

Jacob Roberts: I think Pacquiao will fight again. Boxers’ retirement plans are usually derailed somehow, especially when your trainer and promoter want you to continue. Bob Arum and Freddie Roach are already talking about future fights. If he looks great, then there will be a clamor for him to fight on. He has already said he would come back for a rematch with Mayweather, and with the money that he generates, it will be hard for him to walk away.

Daniel DeMarco: Jeez, even in my short time on Earth I know that nothing is certain when it comes to prizefighters and retirement. I am really torn here. Part of me thinks that Pacquiao’s commitment and determination is not there anymore like it used to be with boxing. But part of me also thinks he would come back in an instant for the right fight in his mind — I’m nearly certain he would come out of retirement for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Nonetheless, all the talk has been that this date would be his last fight, even before an opponent was announced. That kind of talk does not get started without reason. I indeed think Pacquiao plans this to be his last fight.

Dave Hogg:  It certainly should be. I don’t even know why this fight is happening. However, Manny still believes that Floyd Mayweather is going to come out of retirement, and he’s going to keep going until he gets that rematch.

Joseph Hammond: No, I don’t think anyone is promoting this as Pacquiao’s last fight. Freddie Roach is already talking about Pacquiao moving up in weight again to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez at 154 pounds for the middleweight title. That fight would do a great deal for Manny’s legacy. Though, I think fans want to see a rematch with Floyd Mayweather more than anything.

Levi Nile: That is very hard to say. Many fighters like Pacquiao have tried to exit the sport, only to come back later. Marvin Hagler didn’t but he is a rarity. Pacquiao has his political duties to occupy his time, so I think only bouts with Juan Manuel Marquez of Floyd Mayweather Jr. could lure him back.

Of course, if Bradley soundly defeats him, I suspect he will never return.

Does a victory over Tim Bradley do anything for Manny Pacquiao at this point?
Manny Pacquiao, left, and Timothy Bradley pose for photographs during a news conference to promote an upcoming boxing match Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

JR: In the context of his legacy, Pacquiao has more to lose than to gain. Bradley is a solid name, with his own resume, and it would be good for Pacquiao’s record if he could score a trilogy win over him. Pacquiao’s legacy is largely secured though, and his defining fights have been fought. A win against Bradley would do more to preserve the legacy he has built than to enhance it, because a loss would be quite damaging.

DD: It does a decent amount. His victory over Bradley in the rematch is really the only meaningful victory he has had since 2011. A second victory over Bradley is certainly more valuable than his victories over Brandon Rios and Chris Algeri. Plus, it seems like Pacquiao is facing a higher quality version of Bradley this time around given Bradley’s newly found trainer in Teddy Atlas. Bradley looked great in his last fight against Brandon Rios, and the duo of he and Atlas appeared to be a phenomenal pairing. Bradley looks refocused and crisper than ever. As someone who thought Bradley was going to win the rematch, I have even more confidence this time that Bradley will come out victorious. So I would say there is something to be said for Pacquiao getting the win here in the third fight. By no means is it a throwaway fight — to insist such a thing is to completely undervalue Timothy Bradley who is himself one of the best in the world.

DH: In historical terms? Yes. He’ll win the linear welterweight title that Mayweather vacated, giving him linear championships in five different weight classes. No one has ever done that – Mayweather has four – and he’ll have gone all the way from flyweight to welterweight. That’s an incredible achievement.

That said, he could have accomplished the same thing by fighting Amir Khan or Terence Crawford. Either of those fights would have been infinitely more entertaining than Pacquiao-Bradley III. There’s zero upside for him in fighting Bradley. If he wins, great, he beat Bradley yet again. If he loses, his career is over. There’s also the worst-case scenario, which would be a draw or another controversial decision. If that happens, we could be looking at a fourth fight, which would drain the will to live out of most boxing pundits.

JH: I think boxing fans deserved a better fight than this. Pacquiao should be fighting say Terrence Crawford or really anyone other than Bradley as his post-surgery tune-up fight. Not to take anything away from “Desert Storm,” but boxing fans know he lost to Pacquiao twice. Beating the man from Palm Springs a third time isn’t really going to do much for Pacquiao.

LN: Sure it does. A win over a fine fighter like Bradley gives Pacquiao a high note to top off an incredible career, proving that he was still, at the end, among the best. Given that it will also likely be far more exciting than his loss to Mayweather, it renews the love affair that many boxing fans have had with him as an exciting boxer. Bradley is a dangerous opponent and if he is really to be Pacquiao’s final foe, a win would show that even at the end of his career, Pacquiao wasn’t looking for an easy opponent, unlike Mayweathers’ choice to fight Andre Berto.

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