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Pacquiao wants winning last hurrah in Bradley trilogy, Abraham meets Ramirez

Lee Gormley | April 8, 2016

Manny Pacquiao v Timothy Bradley

  • WBO welterweight title fight
  • Sunday, April 10th
  • Scheduled for: 05:00 BST
  • MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
  • Live on Premier Sports

‘Pacman’ seeks successful last hurrah

Almost a year on since being overcome by Floyd Mayweather Jr, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will follow his previous conqueror’s path into retirement after a third meeting with Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao Bradley Boxing

The legendary Filipino fighter makes his first ring outing since being outpointed by Mayweather last May in what was the highest grossing fight in history, with both Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) and Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) seeking to put an end to their rivalry with a decisive victory.

In 2012 ‘Pacman’ lost his WBO welterweight strap to the American in a controversial split decision defeat but gained revenge and reclaimed the belt in 2014 with a comfortable unanimous points success.

Next up in the early hours of Sunday morning, the two men will collide again in the completion of their trilogy to finally settle the score, with 10-time world champion Pacquiao 4/1 from Coral to call time on his illustrious career with a knockout triumph.

Pacquiao targets successful curtain call

Pacquiao, now aged 37, insists that this weekend will be his final appearance in the ring after an esteemed professional career spanning 21 years, and the clinical southpaw is aiming to earn success for his country.

Pacquiao Wild Card Boxing

“It is very important to get the win for my country and the people in the Philippines,” stated ‘Pacman’, who is odds-on 8/11 for a points victory. “This is my last fight.”

The ‘People’s Champion’ believes that a second win over Bradley will give him a boost as he runs for senate in the Philippines’ national election, as he attempts to win a seat in the 24-person body, 12 of which are up for election in May.

With one eye on his political future outside of the ring, the Freddie Roach trained Filipino can’t afford to get distracted against ‘Desert Storm’, who has looked a more well-rounded fighter since teaming up with new mentor Teddy Atlas.

All about legacy for champion Bradley

The Palm Springs-born title holder is the 9/4 outsider to prevail despite entering as reigning champion, and has set his sights on cementing a strong legacy for himself in the sport, starting with another win over Pacquiao.

Pacquiao Bradley Boxing

“This fight here for me is about legacy,” Bradley declared. “It’s about being relevant in the sport. Even when I leave the sport, I want to be relevant.

“I want people to talk about me whether good or bad, but hopefully good. I want people to be admired by what I’ve been through and what I’ve overcome.”

The 32-year-old was still an upcoming name in boxing when he first took to the ring against Pacquiao four years, but he hopes to continue his journey with success this weekend and is 6/1 for a stoppage triumph.

Philippines Pacquiao Basketball

“I wasn’t on television; I wasn’t promoted by the best promoter,” he added.

“I came up the hard way. My following is not as big as I think it should be if I would have came up with the bigger promoter and got on television a lot sooner, but each fight, each step I take I just keep fighting the best fighters in the world.”

With boxing fans having seemingly witnessed the final appearance of Mayweather last year, another legend of the sport looks to go out on a high this weekend, as Pacquiao prepares for his last hurrah against Bradley before a life in politics.

Arthur Abraham vs Gilberto Ramirez

  • WBO super-middleweight title fight
  • Sunday, April 10th
  • Scheduled for: 04:00 BST
  • MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
  • Live on Premier Sports

Abraham and Ramirez collide on undercard

Before Pacquiao takes to the ring for supposedly the last time, Arthur Abraham will defend his WBO super-middleweight title against talented Mexican prospect Gilberto Ramirez, having previously defeated Liverpool’s Martin Murray in November.

Germany Boxing Abraham Murray

The 36-year-old clinched the WBO strap back in 2014 when he overcame German Robert Stieglitz and has since successfully retained it on five occasions, including against Paul Smith Jr twice and Murray, but faces arguably his toughest test in keeping hold of the belt this time around.

Abraham (44-4, 29 KOs) will enter proceedings at 5/4 for victory as he aims to make a triumphant Las Vegas debut and, despite the Armenian-German champion being used to starring as the headline act, he is happy to make an exception for ‘Pacman’,

“All the big champions fight at the MGM,” stated Abraham. “[Mike] Tyson. [Julio Cesar] Chavez [Sr]. [Floyd] Mayweather. This is big history for me.

“My manager made this fight, so we fight. Of course, Pacquiao is Pacquiao. He has a great history and I respect him. He is a big champion.”

Youth over experience?

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum holds high expectations for Mexican prodigy Ramirez and has even already begun talk of the 24-year-old’s first title defence after beating Abraham, which he is odds-on 8/13 to do.

Boxing - Abraham vs Murray

Although, having looked poor in his eventual win over Maxim Vlasov last year, youthful number one contender Ramirez will need a flawless performance to get the better of experienced head Abraham, in what is an intriguing match-up.

A win for Ramirez would see him become the first 168-pound title holder in Mexican history and it’s a feat this driven super-middleweight is ready to achieve, as he readies himself for a big step up in class.

“The future is now…”

“This is my time. I have a lot of respect for Arthur Abraham. He’s a great champion. I know he’s working hard in training camp as am I,” he stated.

Boxing training with underaged refugees

“It’s going to be a great fight. I have to be smart in this fight. We are working on keeping the pressure on Abraham by throwing high volumes of punches and staying on top of him. I’m going to be a second skin on him.

“I feel a great sense of history fighting to become Mexico’s first super middleweight champion. It is a great honour representing my country in this fight. Looking past this fight is meaningless. The future is now.”

Both Abraham and Ramirez enter this contest at contrasting stages of their respective careers, with the champion aiming to keep his streak intact before retiring within two years and the latter hoping for maiden world title success. Though they will both share the same desire come the opening bell in Las Vegas.

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Coral’s top tip: Manny Pacquiao is far from over the hill, so back him to prevail on points at 8/11.

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