FORMER two-time world champion Gerry Penalosa believes Timothy Bradley is the perfect choice for an opponent in the first fight of Manny Pacquiao for 2014.
Penalosa, a close friend of the boxing star from General Santos City, said Bradley, although unbeaten in 31 fights, presents less danger to Pacquiao compared to Ruslan Provodnikov, the unsinkable Juan Manuel Marquez, and the brash-talking pound-for-pound fighter of the world Flord Mayweather Jr.
They Said It!
“(Manny Pacquiao) by unanimous decision." - two-time world champion Gerry Penalosa on Pacquiao-Bradley rematch
Of the three, it’s the relentless Provodnikov, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-welterweight champion, who was heavily considered along with Bradley.
Provodnikov, holder of a 23-2 (16 KOs) record, served as Pacquiao’s sparring partner in his previous bouts against Bradley and Marquez, and is coming off a sensational 10th round stoppage of Mike Alvarado to claim the 140-lb. title belt.
“Mas OK (si Bradley). Safe fight kay MP (Manny Pacquiao) compared kay Ruslan,” said Penalosa in a short chat with Spin.ph during the recent PSA Annual Awards Night at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel where he was among the special guests as former Athlete of the Year winner (1997).
Bradley stunned the boxing world the first time he met Pacquiao two years ago after pulling off a split decision to wrest the WBO 147-lbs crown despite the Filipino ring icon dominating most of the 12-round match.
He went on and defended the title last year against Provodnikov (unanimous) and Marquez (split). His action-packed duel with Provodnikov that saw the native of Palm Springs, California survived a nasty knockdown in the 12th and final round, was adjudged the 2013 Fight of the Year.
Although Penalosa, who reigned as super-flyweight and bantamweight champion of the world, again expects the 30-year-old Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) to engage Pacquiao from a distance in their April 12 rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, he doesn’t see the American escaping with another upset this time.
“MP by unanimous decision,” the retired 43-year-old Penalosa said without batting an eyelash when asked how he sees the Pacquiao-Bradley return bout.