Afterwards, Pacquiao still managed to remain relevant, but for all the wrong reasons. First, he came under fire after blaming his loss to Mayweather on an injured shoulder. An injury he hid from the public and was only revealed long after the match was done and both fighters had racked in record paydays. Just recently, he made headlines by making disparaging remarks to the LGBT community, losing sponsors and fan support as a result.
Now on Saturday April 9, Pacquiao is set to meet Tim Bradley in an uninteresting final rubber match that will be the Pacman’s farewell fight before he calls it a career. As we head into the final bout of his career, why should we care about it? Quite simply two points to consider.
Gilberto Ramirez-Arthur Abraham: Ramirez is a super middleweight contender aiming to become the first super middleweight champion of Mexican descent. Nicknamed Zurdo (lefty) for his southpaw stance, he meets his biggest challenge to date in Arthur Abraham. Having showed decent boxing skills and good KO power, he hopes to have his coming out party on a major event.
Abraham’s resume speaks for itself, a former middleweight champion; he moved up in weight to participate in the Super Six tournament, mixing it up with the likes of Andre Ward, Carl Froch, and Andre Dirrell and he’s been a tough challenge for anyone in the ring. His record boasts wins over Jermaine Taylor, Martin Murray, and, Edison Miranda only to name a few.
Under the tutelage of Robert Garcia, Evgeny Gradvich fought his way to a world title with strong performances over Billy Dib. Unfortunately, He lost his title to the excellent Lee Selby when he travelled to London for his third defense. He’s back in the win column with his last two fights and is hungry to make another run at a world title.
A nice mesh of styles as Valdez is an excellent boxer having showcased good speed with decent power while Gradovich is an all-action, come forward fighter, having earned the nickname, Mexican-Russian. We can expect an action packed fight between Valdez and Gradovich.
End of an Era
Following Mayweather’s retirement, Pacquiao’s farewell fight signals the end of an era. Hate him or love him, Manny Pacquiao remains a once in a lifetime fighter and the impressive run through eight weight divisions will be hard to rival. Known for his charismatic persona and explosive performances in the ring, he became a global icon and will surely be a first ballot hall of famer when his time is up.
For boxing’s sake, let’s enjoy the final stand of the man from General Santos City, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.