Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is confident that Manny Pacquiao will look great this Saturday against Timothy Bradley, feeling the styles will favor the Filipino icon and give him a chance to show some firepower. But if Pacquiao doesn't shine, Roach says he'll advise the fighter to hang up the gloves.
"Bradley's no killer, but he tries hard," Roach said, according to the Associated Press. "Manny should eat him up as he comes forward. I think Manny should look really good in this fight.
"If he looks bad, he retires. At least I'll tell him to. And he may be the first one who will listen to me."
One of the things I like about this fight is that I think there are many possible outcomes, many ways this fight could go. Bradley really might be a hell of a problem for an aging Pacquiao, because he's a good, physical boxer, strong, fearless, with nothing to lose. Very determined.
But Freddie could be right, too: There's a chance that Manny's too quick, too powerful, too accurate with his big punches, and Tim Bradley might find himself in a whirlwind he can't escape. This could be Bradley digging in and pulling it out over 12 rounds, or it really could be an early Pacquiao knockout. I can see both happening.
Let's say Manny does "look bad," though. At this stage of his career and his life, do you think you'd advise Manny to retire with a mediocre performance? It's not even just about, "Well he can still win a lot of fights." Of course he can. A declining Manny is still a lot better than most anyone else.
But he's got his other life: He's got his political career, whatever you think of that, and his Bible teaching, whatever you think of that, and a lot of other things he'll be able to do. Does he need to float down the lazy river that is the declining years of a fighter, just waiting to really get beaten up by someone? I'd say no. Some fighters have to hang on forever. Manny probably isn't one of them.