Now it can be told: Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao underestimated Timothy Bradley the first time they fought in 2012.
Pacquiao admitted that the lack of motivation may have affected his preparation for the first fight, which saw Bradley walk away with the WBO welterweight crown.
“To be honest, I wasn’t as motivated when I was training for our first fight. I guess I didn’t take him seriously enough,” Pacquiao said in Gareth Davies’ Telegraph report.
But during their press tour at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles this week, Pacquiao maintained that he won every round of that first fight which was also the consensus of most local fight fans.
The judges, however, awarded Bradley a split decision and the WBO strap.
“I remember last time believing that I won the first fight against Tim Bradley. I thought I was leading after every round. I thought I won the fight easily. I controlled the fight every round," said Pacquiao.
“I was very surprised by the decision. But that’s part of the game. He got the decision and my title."
The rematch will be different though, vowed Pacquiao, saying this time, there will be no more “Mr. Nice Guy.”
“I will be the aggressor. I will throw a lot of punches at him – more than I threw against Rios — and I will land them. Last time I was too nice. This time, I will finish what I start. I want to get back that belt he won off of me," he said.