Tim Bradley believes that the key to winning for Manny Pacquiao is to “be very elusive with a lot of feints” against welterweight rival Brandon Rios, whose counter strategy must be “to get close and stay close and punch” when they clash on Nov. 23 welterweight bout with Rios in Macau on HBO Pay Per View.
Pacquiao has lost two straight, a split-decision Bradley last June and sixth-round KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December.
“Manny Pacquiao is very, very quick and very elusive with a lot of feints, so there will be lots of feints from him in this fight. I remember when I fought him, he dropped a lot of feints on me and kept me really tentative as far as how I was throwing my shots,” said Bradley, who is coming off last month’s split-decision over Marquez.
“Manny Pacquiao can be very, very difficult at times, too, because he’s always angling out. He’s coming in, he’s out, and then, he’s angling out to the right and to the left. That’s what Brandon Rios should expect. He should not expect Pacquiao to come straight at him. Pacquiao’s going to come in from different angles in this fight. He’s going to have to do that against Brandon Rios.”
A promotional and managerial stablemate of Bradley’s, Rios was last in the ring in March, when Mike Alvarado won a unanimous decision to avenge a seventh-round stoppage loss from October of 2012.
“Rios, if he’s going to have a chance of beating Pacquiao, he’s going to have to close the distance. He’s going to have to get close and stay close and punch. Manny Pacquiao has the tendency to stay on the ropes and with his hand high and to stay in that position and allow opponents to punch him or to punish him at times, and I think that’s more in Rios’ favor,” said Bradley, who said that he “told our manager,” Cameron Dunkin, that Rios has to stay away from Pacquiao’s left hand.
“Rios likes to bring the pressure and to throw good uppercuts and good body shots as well, and I think that that’s his best chance of being effective in this fight. If he can close the distance, he can be effective in this fight. If he’s out too far, then he’s doomed. He also has to expect that Pacquiao will come right back, so he has to have really good defense after he punches. If he does that, then he can be successful. But if he allows Pacquiao to move in on him and to find different angles and to punch from those different angles with the power that he has in both hands, then he can hurt you. I know that Rios can take a punch, but this is not Mike Alvarado. He’s facing Manny Pacquiao, who has speed and power.”
Bradley was speaking during a Friday conference call touting Pacquiao-Rios, one which included Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marco Antonio Barrera, George Foreman and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
Pacquiao is 2-1-1 against Marquez, a bout that Rios has to have on his mind when he enters the ring against the Filipino star, according to Leonard.
“What Brandon Rios has to do against Manny Pacquiao is to not let him forget about what happened to him in that last fight, so Rios has to really come out and jump on Pacquiao,” said Leonard, who was nearly stopped by sparring partner Quincy Taylor five days prior to defeating Marvin Hagler.
“What happens when you get knocked out in the fashion that Manny Pacquiao was knocked out in is that it can become an Achilles heel. But if there is anybody who can block that out, then Pacquiao is the guy to do that. So this fight comes down to who sticks to the game plan and who dominates the other and takes control early in the fight.”
Bradley believes that will be Pacquiao, by knockout.
“I’ve got Manny Pacquiao by mid-to-late-round KO,” said Bradley. “So, I got him in , maybe, like the eighth round.”