Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley pose at a news conference to promote their upcoming WBO welterweight championship boxing rematch. Photo by Joe Klamar, Agence France-Presse
It will be a vengeful Manny Pacquiao who will step into the ring for his April 12 rematch against unbeaten boxer Timothy Bradley as he attempts to regain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt from the American.
Pacquiao shockingly lost to Bradley when they first fought in June 2012 via a split decision victory even though most observers felt that the “Pacman” won the bout handily.
Two years later, Pacquiao is challenging Bradley for the title that he lost and is out for revenge as well.
“I am impressed with what Bradley has done since our fight,” Pacquiao said, as quoted by PhilBoxing. “He is a different fighter now since we fought. He has more experience at this level, and as a welterweight champion.”
“He fought extremely well against (Juan Manuel) Marquez. I knew Tim would beat him utilizing his speed, but I am still faster that Bradley,” Pacquiao warned.
In his first fight following his loss to Bradley, Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez, and only got back on the winning track last November when he routed Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios.
Meanwhile, Bradley registered victories over Ruslan Provodnikov and Marquez in 2013.
Pacquiao is confident that he can get the job done, even against an improved Bradley.
“The only way Bradley can beat me this time is to knock me out,” the Filipino declared. “He cannot outbox me. 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,” he admitted. “This time, I will finish what I started.”
While boxing has always been fun for him, Pacquiao said that “this time, the fun is secondary.”
“This is a mission to prove I am the best,” said the “Pacman.” “In my fight against Rios, I proved that I can still fight at the high level everyone expects from me. I showed I can still control a fight as well as I ever have.”
But Bradley will be no walkover. The American was a huge underdog in their first fight and figures to be the underdog in the rematch as well. But he is highly motivated to prove that his win against Pacquiao was no fluke.
“This is all about redemption,” said Bradley. “I need Manny. He needs me. I’m going to beat him again. I am younger and a better fighter.”