Pacquiao gears up for Bradley rematch

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News North America

Posted at Feb 05 2014 01:00 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2014 09:00 PM

BEVERLY HILLS, California – The time has come to remove all doubt after the controversial June 2012 fight that saw American Timothy Bradley get the win and the WBO welterweight title from Filipino icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.

The two faced off to officially announce their April 12 rematch at a Beverly Hills press conference on Tuesday.

“Magandang laban ito, dahil gusto kong i-prove at mapatunayan na ako ang nanalo, at siyempre makuha ko ulit ‘yung belt sa kaniya,” said Pacquiao.

For his part, Bradley said: “I’ve already got a win over Manny Pacquiao. I beat him already, but this is for the people, this is for the people, this is for the world.”

“This is so I can walk down the street, and people will say, ‘Dang, you beat Pacquiao,’ and not, ‘Tim you didn’t win the fight, you didn’t win that fight,’” the American added.

Bradley defeated Pacquiao via split decision when they fought in June 2012, though it was very controversial and few gave Bradley the credit for the victory.

Since the controversial fight, Bradley has defeated Pacquiao’s sparring partner, Ruslan Provodnikov, via unanimous decision, then defeated Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision in October.

In the meantime, Pacquiao suffered a devastating loss to Marquez six months after his bout against Bradley. He took nearly a year off, then came back last December with a dominant victory over Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios.

Bradley said that while Pacquiao is still one of the best fighters, the “Pacman” has shown compassion in recent fights, including their controversial match where the American injured both feet yet managed to last the distance.

“He just seemed a little bit different in there, and he wasn’t really willing to take chances like I normally see him do,” Bradley pointed out. “When he gets a guy hurt or stunned, he’ll go after him so I said that’s the compassionate Manny, and I still think he’s like that.”

“Nakaka-challenge sa akin ‘yung ganon, so kailangan ko ibalik ‘yung killer instinct ko at ang aggressiveness ko,” Pacquiao acknowledged. “Throwing a lot of punches, kailangan ko siguro ‘yun. And I have to train hard for this fight.”

With Pacquiao’s financial advisor, Michael Koncz, and Top Rank’s Bob Arum assuring that the Fighting Congressman’s alleged tax problems are being worked out, Pacquiao is also on the housing market.

“Naghahanap ako, saka ko papalitan ang bahay ko,” said Pacquiao.

Pacquiao will not have a lot of time to house-hunt during this brief press tour. He is scheduled for a New York press conference on Thursday, before returning to the Philippines to begin his training.

Pacquiao is expected to begin the Los Angeles portion of his training camp at a newly expanded Wild Card Gym in March.

Aside from reuniting with former strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, Pacquiao may also reunite with a former opponent. Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto, who hired Freddie Roach as his trainer last year, is being considered as a possible sparring partner for Pacquiao.