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The 5 Things We Learned From Manny Pacquiao versus Timothy Bradley 3

If that indeed was the final fight of Manny Pacquiao's legendary career, the Filipino 8-division world champion left us with an impressive memory. Let's count the five things we learned from Pacquiao-Bradley 3:

Teddy Atlas Should Be Ready To Die Now

Teddy Atlas has been given a lot of credit for taking Tim Bradley's career up a notch as of late. A lot of people thought Teddy Atlas would be the difference in the third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. Atlas even told ESPN a day before the fight that he'd "rather die" than see Bradley lose. Well Atlas should be ready to die by now as Bradley lost again to Manny Pacquiao on Saturday in what was perhaps the most decisive among their three bouts. No matter how good people say Teddy Atlas is, the moment he leaves the ring after the referee's final instruction, the fight is left in the hands of his fighter. Sad as it sounds, Manny Pacquiao has always been the better boxer than Timothy Bradley. Teddy Atlas notwithstanding.

Timothy Bradley Was Thinking Too Much

Timothy Bradley said that Teddy Atlas had laid down the perfect game plan against Manny Pacquiao and whatever that was, it didn't work. It appeared that Bradley tried to outbox Pacquiao in the first half of the fight but while he had some success, he bounced a lot too much and threw too many punches in bunches that he often left himself open for counters. Don't get me wrong. Bradley looked great but he fought like a robot executing a command. Manny on the other hand, looked natural and fluid. He adjusted well to the looks that Bradley gave him. Maybe Bradley though about the game plan too much that he forgot the basics: hit and not get hit. Two short lefts from Pacman aren't usually fatal, but they scored two knockdowns that knocked out Bradley's spirit out of the fight.

Manny Pacquiao Showed No Ring Rust Whatsoever

It was Pacquiao's first bout since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015. He was coming off a right shoulder injury but none of those mattered as Pacquiao turned in a near-vintage performance against Timothy Bradley on Saturday night. Manny showed that he still had the handspeed, the footwork and power to compete at an elite level. Timothy Bradley was said to be at his peak after wins over Jessie Vargas and Bam Bam Rios. He was five years younger than Pacquiao, but Manny didn't look that old on Saturday night. In fact, he turned in his best performance against Bradley in three bouts.

He's No Longer The Destroyer We Once Knew

Having praised Pacquiao's performance, let us compare it to the Manny Pacquiao we all fell in love with. No, he's no longer the same destroyer who climbed the ranks by knocking out one champion after champion. That Manny Pacquiao is long gone. Sure, he scored two knockdowns against Bradley, but he hasn't recorded a knockout since stopping Cotto in 2009. He appeared to have hurt Bradley with the second knockdown but couldn't finish him off in the round or the next. Freddie Roach said before the fight that this Pacman is no longer the same one who demolished Ricky Hatton. It's not just the age ( he's 37) but he's reached a weight class where his power is no longer what it was in the smaller divisions. He's lost a step or two too, and while he is still fast for normal standards, he's no longer the Pacman who used to throw six to eight punch combos.

It's Time To Hang Up The Gloves

During the promotion leading to this bout, there were no Kobe Bryant farewell tours for Manny Pacquiao. Top Rank never said this was Pacman's final fight because Bob Arum is hoping against hope that Pacman fights again. But during his post fight interviews, Manny was definitive about retirement. Although he said he still phyiscially could compete at a high level, his heart is with his people and if he wins in the Philippines' National elections next month, he will serve his countrymen full-time. Not many great fighters had the opportunity to go out on top. Manny has that and if he truly loves his people as much as he loves the sport, it's time to turn it over to the more than capable young superstars out there.

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