Timothy Bradley has given a strong indication he will target Manny Pacquiao's recently injured right shoulder in an attempt to beat the Filipino when the pair face off on April 9.
The clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be the third fight between the duo and Pac-Man's first since his May 2015 defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr., which he partially blamed on the recurrence of a shoulder injury, per Alexander Ward of the Independent.
Since the defeat to Money, Pacquiao has been working back to full fitness—although Freddie Roach, his trainer, and promoter Bob Arum have their concerns over how seriously he took his rehab—and Bradley has now implied he will use the shoulder to his advantage, per BoxingScene.com's Radio Rahim: "I think the answer would be—what would you do? C'mon, let's think here. You are a smart guy. What would you do? Would you target that shoulder? What would you do? I will do whatever it takes to win."
The ever-popular Pacquiao, 37, announced that the welterweight clash with Bradley will be the final fight of his career, per Sky Sports News HQ:
Sky Sports News HQ @SkySportsNewsHQ
Manny Pacquiao confirmed to #SSNHQ that his bout with Timothy Bradley will be the last of his career. https://t.co/QkQcQOGi1u2016-1-21 21:04:28
He will look to go out on a high, but Bradley will be no pushover, having earned a knockout victory over Brandon Rios in his last fight in November.
The first time Bradley and Pacquiao fought, the American won a highly controversial split-decision victory in 2012—see the highlights below:
The 2014 rematch saw Pac-Man dominate in a unanimous-decision triumph. There was very little clamour for a third bout to go ahead, and many fans were disappointed when it was announced that Pacquiao would fight Bradley in his first post-Mayweather encounter, per Allan Fox of Boxing News 24.
However, it is now going ahead and will (probably) be the last chance ever to see the eight-division champion in action.
Pacquiao's fans will hope that he has fully recovered from his shoulder injury, as it seems clear that Bradley is set to target it in order to claim victory.
He will undoubtedly want to go out with a bang, and a knockout win (potentially the 39th of his storied career) would be a fitting way for him to take his leave from the sport.