One the architects of Manny Pacquiao's fairy-tale rise from a struggling boxer to a world superstar won’t be around when the Filipino icon stakes his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against American Tim Bradley on June 10 (Manila time).
Moy Lainez believes it's not worth the trip.
The veteran boxing personality, a fixture at ringside in Pacquiao's previous fights, is not making the trip to Las Vegas this time for one simple reason: he believes Bradley - for all his talent and determination - isn't good enough to give the Filipino boxing hero a good fight.
"Talo sa pagod (sa biyahe),” explained Lainez. He is even having second thoughts on buying pay-per-view for the fight, saying, "Baka matapos agad. Lugi ka pa."
With almost everything in favor of the 33-year-old southpaw in the title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Lainez sees only one way for Bradley to pull off an upset.
“Lucky punch lang. Boksing ito, kaya posible `yun,” he said. “Bukod doon wala akong nakikitang iba pang paraan. Very, very slim ang tsansa ni Bradley.”
Lainez is aware of the challenger’s penchant to fight dirty, but he said that should be negated by the power and speed of Pacquiao.
“Baka maka-headbutt, pero hindi hamak na mas malakas si Manny sa kanya. Kaya hindi puwede talagang sumabay,” said Lainez, one-third of the former three-man team that once handled Pacquiao’s career, the others being Lito Mondejar and the late Rod Nazario.
One of the most fearsome punchers of his era, Pacquiao has a 64-percent knockout rate based with 38 KOs embellishing his 54-3-2 record. However, he is coming off a highly debatable majority decision over Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in the last installment of their trilogy last November.
But Lainez doesn’t see Bradley, undefeated in 28 fights (12 KOs), posing as much danger to Pacquiao as the bigger fighters the Filipino had fought in the past.
“Kahit paano may suntok yan, pero si Manny kinaya `yung mga suntok nila (Oscar) De La Hoya, nila (Miguel) Cotto, kaya tingin ko kaya niyang dalhin 'yung suntok ni Bradley,” he added.
On how long the match would last depends on how the champion decides to pick apart the challenger, according to the boxing man known as 'Mang Moy' to friends in boxing.
“Kapag hindi naawa (si Manny), baka tumagal,” he said. “Pero kapag pinasok na `yung Biblia, at naawa, baka humaba ang laban.”
Now spending more time spreading the word of God through the Bible, the fighting congressman from Sarangani is very focused on his career at the moment. Lainez said when Pacquiao is focused, he is almost invincible.
That can only spell trouble for Bradley.