Tim Bradley's trainer likens Pacquiao last hurrah to Kobe Bryant, Jeter farewell tour
Manny Pacquiao checks in for his entourage's flight from Los Angeles to New York for the second stop of his promotional tour for the Tim Bradley fight. Gerry Ramos

NEW YORK – A third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley may no longer be interesting to several boxing fans, but trainer Teddy Atlas said there’s one thing that makes the April 9 bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas something special.

The handler of Bradley said the 12-round match for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title serves as the final chance for people to see a legend in Pacquiao fight one last time inside the ring.

It’s like Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter playing in their farewell tour, according to the longtime trainer and ESPN analyst.

“Part of the interest here is to get an opportunity to see a great fighter for the last time,” said Atlas of the 37-year-old Filipino ring icon, who picked Bradley as his final opponent in a career spanning more than two decades.

“There’s a lot of interest in LA Laker games. People are going to the games this year not because of the team they are, but because there’s somebody named Kobe Bryant who’s not gonna be around anymore,” said Atlas.

Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers’ longtime franchise player, is set to retire at the end of this season.

“And there’s a lot of interest last year or a year before in the New York Yankees not because of the Yankees, but because Derek Jeter wasn’t gonna be around no more,” he added, referring to the great Yankees shortstop who retired in 2014.

At the same time, Atlas didn’t fail to mention how people will get to see and appreciate how great a fighter the unpopular Bradley is, notwithstanding him being a three-time world champion and the same man who beat Pacquiao by a controversial split decision in 2012.

“It’s also an opportunity to see a great fighter in Timothy Bradley show against that fighter (Pacquiao), how great he is, and what his place is,” he said.

“We definitely look forward to it.”

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