Having seen this generation’s most successful boxer retire last year, it seems only fitting that the man widely-considered the second best in modern times will also hang up his gloves. After finally meeting in the ring after an almost decade long courtship, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao delivered the fight boxing fans had been waiting for. With his biggest payday now behind him, and with nobody really left for the Filipino legend left to fight, the 37-year-old has decided his upcoming trilogy bout with Timothy Bradley will be the final fight of his career.
While the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight itself was something of a let down, we finally got an answer to the question as to who the real king of boxing was – with Mayweather walking away with a huge pay day and his legacy intact, bringing an end to his career following a routine win over Andre Berto in September. Despite rumours of a potential rematch, Pacquiao has made it clear he intends to follow his long-term rival out of the sport, leaving him to focus on his political career in the Philippines. But first up will be the fight with Bradley, in which Pacquiao is at the time this article was produced priced at 4/11 with the pre-fight betting odds.
With the series locked at 1-1, although many feel the Filipino should be 2-0 up, the main selling point in this fight ahead of rumoured other options against Amir Khan and Terence Crawford was that Bradley is the current WBO welterweight champion – opening the door for Pacquiao to end his career as a world champion. Having won world titles in eight different weight divisions, it would be a fairytale ending to the veteran’s boxing career, although he’ll be well aware that Bradley will be up for this fight.
The two previous meetings between the duo have been intriguing affairs, with Bradley winning a hugely controversial split decision in 2012 before Pacquiao cruised to a unanimous points victory in the rematch last April. Two years since that second fight, we will see the duo meet for a third time. While Khan appears to have spent the past few years chasing Mayweather, turning down the chance of a lucrative world title fight against countryman Kell Brook, the Englishman was a contender for this Pacquiao fight only to fail to agree terms.
While there were probably a host of fights out there that fans would rather have seen, if this is indeed the last time we’ll witness Pacquiao in the ring, it’s not a bad way to say goodbye to one of the most exciting fighters of his generation. Bradley has shown over the past few years that he is more than willing to take a shot in order to give one, often to his detriment when you look at how close he came to losing against Ruslan Provodnikov and Jessie Vargas. Without a clear victory over Pacquiao on his record, the American will now be desperate to leave no doubt who the winner is this time around.