Pacquiao vs. Bradley: No Trump Card Previews
Before Manny Pacquaio and Tim Bradley step in the ring to battle for the third time, Top Rank presents an exciting three-fight undercard, which has been dubbed the “No Trump Card” because it is filled with Mexican fighters.
While The Donald might not be too pleased, fight fans can expect three really good fights.
Read on for Jack O’Connell’s breakdown of each bout and let us know who you think will win each fight.
Jose Ramirez vs. Manuel Perez
Top Rank prospect Jose Ramirez looks to advance his career with a step up in competition against experienced journeyman Manuel Perez in a 10-round light welterweight fight.
Coming off an eight-round decision win over Johnny Garcia, Ramirez hopes to impress on the big stage. Perez has been in the ring with several top names, including Brandon Rios (twice), Diego Magdaleno, Mercito Gesta and Victor Ortiz, all competitive loses as well as a draw against Rios the first time around.
The Colorado native Perez has won three straight since a TKO loss to Victor Ortiz in 2014.
On paper, this looks to be a simple showcase fight for Ramirez. In actuality, this could end up being a barn burner. Ramirez’s boxing talents are a bit undefined, as he often chooses to go headfirst and brawl.
Perez has never shied away from a firefight, even when outgunned. Ramirez will be tested, expect Perez to be in his grill all night.
However, Ramirez’s pedigree should carry him to a spirited 10-round decision.
Prediction: Ramirez by wide, but competitive decision
Oscar Valdez vs. Evgeny Gradovich
Another Top Rank prospect, Oscar Valdez takes on former featherweight IBF titlist Evgeny Gradovich in a 10-round fight. The Mexican amateur star plans to enter the top of the featherweight division with a victory over Gradovich.
Valdez is coming off two impressive knockout victories, including one over former title challenger Chris Avalos. Gradovich hopes to get back into the featherweight mix.
The “Russian Mexican” won the IBF title from Billy Dib in 2013 and made four successful title defenses before a one-sided loss to Lee Selby last year. Gradovich has come back with two wins against low-level competition, but struggled in both fights.
What this fight will ultimately come down to is Gradovich’s defense. Watch any of Gradovich’s recent fights and you will notice how marked up and bruised his face gets. The Russian is too open to score on. Against a boxer puncher as powerful and skilled as Valdez, this will lead to Gradovich getting systematically broken down over time.
Valdez should be smart, choosing to box on the back foot instead of coming forward. Gradovich has one gear–to come forward. He does not respond well to fighters who choose to box rather than exchange, as shown by his struggles against boxers Lee Selby and Jayson Velez.
The Russian should be double tough, though, continuing to come forward. However, he will eat crushing shot after shot until the referee will eventually step in to mercifully save Gradovich.
Prediction: Valdez by late TKO
Arthur Abraham vs. Gilberto Ramirez
In the co-main event, veteran titleholder Arthur Abraham defends his WBO super middleweight title against Mexican contender, Gilberto Ramirez. The Armenian-German Abraham makes his fourth trip to the United States after a five-year hiatus.
Abraham won the WBO title, a title he previously held, back from Robert Stieglitz and has made five successful defenses. Ramirez is a Top Rank prospect, hoping to become a major Mexican attraction. Ramirez has built up steadily, coming off a dominant win er contender Gevorg Khatchikian.
Of the entire undercard, Abraham vs. Ramirez is easily the most exciting matchup. Abraham always makes for an exciting fight, while Ramirez is akin to Paul Williams–a rangy volume puncher unafraid to get in and exchange.
In what should be an excellent match, Abraham’s overwhelming experience in the fight game should seal the win for him. Abraham knows how to deal with volume. He has dealt with precision boxers and he can counter sluggers.
Abraham’s sheer knowledge of the game will give him all the answers on how to crack Ramirez. I expect Ramirez to throw and throw and throw, but Abraham will land the clean, effective shots.
Prediction: Abraham by clear decision
All photos by Will Hart