LOS ANGELES, California – In June 2012, American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. was on top of the world but at the center of a boxing controversy after he defeated Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao via split decision to claim a welterweight title.
After an eight-month hiatus, the undefeated Bradley is back and ready to fight.
“At the end of the day, I’m still undefeated, I still have my perfect record, I’m still the champion,” said Bradley. “What happened in the past is in the past. I leave the past in the past, I never really dwell on it.”
“The whole Pacquiao situation, whatever. It’s irrelevant. Pacquiao just got knocked out.”
Bradley will make the first defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) title in March against Russian fighter Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1).
Provodnikov, who is trained by Hall-of-Famer Freddie Roach, was Pacquiao’s primary sparring partner when he was preparing for his fights against Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez last year.
“I will pay back for Manny and do everything to win this fight,” the Russian said through a translator. “Manny is my friend, and I think this is going to be a payback.”
The two will fight at the Home Depot Center on March 16.
Meanwhile, Top Rank president Todd duBoef gave updates on the next fights of Pacquiao and world super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.
Pacquiao’s boxing future got somewhat complicated when Marquez announced that he is not interested in a fifth match.
“We hear a lot of chatter in the press and everything like that, and until we start having conversations with both camps, we’ll see where we are,” DuBoef said.
“Obviously, the fight in December was an incredible event for everybody that saw it because it was an exciting fight, it had a dramatic ending and I think the consumers want to see it again,” he added.
“I think both fighters will sit down and discuss it.”
DuBoef also said that an April match for Donaire is close to being complete, and an opponent and venue will be announced soon.