By Michael Woods
This is it, he told us Thursday at Madison Square Garden, this will be the last time I do this. I want to leave before it goes bad, Manny Pacquiao said, and because I got things to do in another arena.
He's angling for a Senate seat and he can't so easily juggle fighting twice a year and the politics thing if he wants to step up from Congressman to Senator, Pacman said.
Thus, a farewell fight, to be held in concert with a known foe, Tim Bradley (seen above in Michael Woods pic). HBO PPV will be the platform.
Of course, I dare say most everyone in the room assumed that farewell will go to the wayside and the lure of a sequel with Floyd Mayweather would force Manny to un retire. But for now, with the info we have at our disposal, this one will be the adios bout.
Arum said Bradley got the gig because he's a sellable guy. Possible waltz partner Terence Crawford isn't yet well known enough to cable providers, he was informed, and this is why we will see another 12 rounds between these foes.
But this time, Bradley could be in a better place. Pacman had right shoulder surgery after tearing his shoulder fighting “Money” Mayweather and just yesterday, saw a doc who declared him fully healed, trainer Freddie Roach told me. But he will be rusty, at best, one could assume.
And Bradley, he said he will be a “smart monster” in April, with the Lombardian Teddy Atlas whispering motivating words in his ears. Roach admitted Atlas is the goods, though, he told me, not much can or should be taken from Bradley's win over an unmotivated Brandon Rios.
The tone of the event was pure class. All were polite though Arum showed his Brooklyn when he predicted that our economy would plunge if Bernie Sanders won the Presidency. I'm thinking he might even, secretly, prefer a Donald Trump win, as Trump digs rich people.
Check back for more tidbits from our coverage today…