by Chris Robinson
There’s an odd feeling in the air in Las Vegas ahead of tonight’s Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight.
Despite the overwhelming success that Pacquiao has celebrated in recent years, fans and insiders alike find themselves being drawn to Bradley because of his engaging personality and his determination as a fighter.
Vying for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight belt inside of the MGM Grand, Bradley may be a clear underdog according to odds makers, yet the Palm Springs, California hopeful has swayed his share of people towards choosing him to prevail in the biggest fight of his career.
Count in International advisor, matchmaker, and promoter Sampson Lewkowicz as one of those going with the upset.
Having played an instrumental role in helping bring Pacquiao to America over eleven years ago, Lewkowicz knows the Filipino idol very well and was taken back to a key fight of his that took place in November of 2001 when discussing the Bradley matchup.
“I’ve known Pacquiao for a long time and I never forget when the late Agapito Sanchez, who has a very [similar] style to Bradley,” said Lewkowicz of Pacquiao’s bout with the awkward Dominican, a fight that ended in a six-round technical due to a nasty cut above Pacquiao’s right eye following an accidental head butt.
“A rough fight is not for Pacquiao,” Lewkowicz continued. “I believe he will be rough, this kid Bradley with Pacquiao. I predict that it’s the end of the career for Pacquiao.”
Surprising remarks from Lewkowicz, who insisted that Pacquiao, who also serves as a congressman in the province of Sarangani in the Philippines and who recently has begun devoting himself to God, is a fighter who mentally is already on his way out of the sport.
“Oh no, he has too many things on his plate and I don’t believe he will continue,” stated Lewkowicz. “Actually, he’s starting to lose his mind I believe. It’s not the same Pacquiao as two fights ago.”
Asked how boxing would deal with the loss of one of its biggest stars, Lewkowicz pointed out that there are always other doors yet to be opened.
“It will be much better,” said Lewkowicz. “Because you will have many Filipinos who will have the right to be the next Manny Pacquiao. For the Philippines, Pacquiao is an idol, he will be an idol all the time and thanks to that idol, he will pass the torch to the other younger Filipinos.”