GOING against popular opinion, former world champion Rolando Bohol boldly said on record he expects Timothy Bradley to again beat countryman Manny Pacquiao in their rematch for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title on April 13 (Manila time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Bohol admitted his instincts tell him Pacquiao is bound to suffer the same fate he endured the first time he fought Bradley in June 2012 when the American stunned the boxing world by pulling off a controversial split decision to win the 147-lb. championship.
“I got a feeling that uumm, Bradley will win again. That’s how I feel. Pero walang knockout. Decision, it’s going to be the same story,” Bohol said in a interview with Spin.ph from his home in Las Vegas, where he has long been based.
“There’s nothing against Pacquiao, but that’s how I feel,” said the former Filipino boxer, who won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight crown in 1988 following a split decision over Korean Chang Ho Choi at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Asked why he sees a Pacquiao loss amid the belief of many the Filipino eight-time world champion will finally get to avenge his controversial defeat to Bradley, Bohol gave a more detailed explanation based on his knowledge of the fight game.
“Iba na siya (Pacquiao) eh, parang iba na ngayon ang galaw niya. Parang nagbago. Kasi kung ikukumpara naman natin 'yung laban kay (Brandon) Rios, underrated naman masyado si Rios kesa sa kanya (Pacquiao) kaya naging ano (scintillating win),” said the 48-year-old Bohol, who compiled a record of 34-15 (7 KOs) in a 10-year fight career.
“Pero kung nakaka-kalaban siya ng katulad nila (Juan) Marquez at ni (Bradley), nag-iiba 'yung style niya (Pacquiao),” added Bohol.
Listen to podcast of the interview with Rolando Bohol here.
The pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental said a more intense and distraction-free training camp should be the focal point of Pacquiao’s preparation.
“Para sa akin yung ginawa niya sa last fight niya against Rios, kung ilalabas niya 'yung galaw niya, may pag-asa siyang mananalo. Yan ang observation ko,” insisted Bohol, now president and CEO of the online shopping website, 24hourshopnet.com.
“I don’t think he can knock out Bradley, he can only win by decision,” added Bohol, who fought the likes of former world champions Orlando Canizales, Johnny Tapia, Gerry Penalosa, Dodie Boy Penalosa, Junior Jones, and Duke McKenzie.
But Bohol, who relinquished his IBF title with an 11th round technical knockout loss to McKenzie at Wembley Stadium in 1988, insisted he’s not being hard on Pacquiao, explaining he’s only expressing his opinion the way he sees the fight as a former boxer himself.
“Pacquiao can still win. Hindi ko naman inaalis 'yung pagasa niya. Pero if ever Manny will win, I don’t think it will come by way of knockout,” he said.
Bohol likewise gave his thoughts on the long-delayed showdown between Pacquiao and rival Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“Kung sakaling magtapat sila, I will give you my honest opinion, I think Mayweather will give him a boxing lesson,” he said.
“Syempre, maka-Pacquiao tayo. Pero sa ngayon and even before na nasa prime pa siya, I think Mayweather will beat him by decision. Kasi ang style ni Mayweather, iba eh. At saka si Mayweather nakakatanggap ng suntok eh,” he said.