Timothy Bradley Jr. (left) of the U.S. exchanges blows with the Philippines Manny Pacquiao during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday (Sunday Manila). Pacquiao eventually lost his title via a split decision. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters
When he fought Timothy Bradley in 2012, Manny Pacquiao recalled noticing the American boxer struggling to move around the ring because of his injured feet.
Bradley injured his left foot while he was moving backwards in the second round. Two rounds later, his right foot also gave up after compensating for the damaged left foot.
Pacquiao said he felt he didn’t need to hurt his challenger further because of the injuries. As a result, the judges awarded Bradley a split decision and Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight belt.
“I was nice to Bradley in the ring and that's what happened,” the Filipino admitted in the first episode of HBO 24/7 Pacquiao-Bradley 2.
His boxing coach echoed this sentiment, noting that Pacquiao has become too kind to his opponent, letting his opponent go despite wobbling the American at least twice.
“He hurt him a couple of times, I think Manny could have finished him, but he's compassionate he felt no need to hurt him. He thought that scoring points will be enough to win the fight,” said Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao will get the chance to correct his mistakes on April 12, when he meets Bradley for the second time in his career. Roach has told Pacquiao to be extra-aggressive this time to make sure that Bradley won’t get away.
But Bradley threatened to frustrate the Filipino boxer just like he did in 2012.
"Manny says that he's going to be the aggressive, destructive Manny Pacquiao of old times. I love challenges. I love when people say that I can't do something," said Bradley in RingTV, "Because I love to prove them all wrong like I have been doing my whole career.”