Manny Pacquiao’s decision to fight Timothy Bradley for a third time is certainly a strange one.
With only one April bout option open until retirement, Pacquiao had the chance to bow out in style against exciting contenders Terence Crawford or Amir Khan, but instead opted for a man he effectively defeated twice by a wide margin.
What was the thinking behind it? – Who knows? But the surprise choice rings the same bells as rival Floyd Mayweather’s decision to end his career against Andre Berto.
Pacquiao has squarely proven himself against Bradley over 24 rounds previously and is only putting himself in jeopardy against a fighter potentially reaching his peak level as he himself is firmly on the way down.
At least against Crawford or Khan we’d learn something new about the ‘Pacman’ – whereas a Bradley win just places more doubts following on from the Mayweather loss and re-questions whether Pacquiao was correct to have returned.
Should the Filipino have gone with the more dangerous option against the speed and agility of Crawford or Khan, Pacquiao would have then been in a position to add something more to his legacy by showing he can still mix it with the future generation.
It’s a further disappointment for the fight fans who were granted the super-bout they always longed for in May 2015 when Pacquiao fought Mayweather, only to be unmoved by how the actual contest panned out and subsequently even further by their respective follow-up encounters.
Sadly, no outcome barring an unlikely knockout win would do anything to send Pacquiao out with the bang he deserves and the more likely points chess match certainly won’t set pulses racing as the eight-weight champion takes his final bow.