Pacquiao expects a 'better Tim Bradley'


Posted at Apr 03 2014 11:14 PM | Updated as of Apr 04 2014 07:14 AM

MANILA – Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao expects to see an improved version of unbeaten American Timothy Bradley when they meet for the second time on April 12 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao lost to Bradley when they first fought in June 2012, although majority of boxing analysts and fans observed he dominated the 12-round fight.

Bradley won a controversial split decision that some consider as among the worst in the history of the sport.

With just days to go before their rematch, Pacquiao held a media workout at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, where he told RingTV of his wish to face an improved Bradley.

"I'm expecting a better Tim Bradley than I fought in the first fight. He proved in his last two fights with (Juan Manuel) Marquez and Ruslan (Provodnikov) that he’s a better fighter now," said Pacquiao.

Bradley followed up his win against Pacquiao by surviving several near-knockouts to outpoint Provodnikov in March 2013, then beat Marquez via a split decision in October later that year.

"He proved his toughness against Ruslan. I'm prepared for that kind of fight," said Pacquiao. "If Bradley is more aggressive, it's good for me."

Pacquiao also said it's to his advantage that Bradley has been repeatedly questioning his level of motivation in the lead-up to the fight.

The American has said that Pacquiao no longer has the killer instinct that once made him the sport's pound-for-pound king.

"It helps when Tim Bradley says I don't have fire," said Pacquiao. "It inspires me to work hard and prove that I still have the killer instinct and aggressiveness."

Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, said activity will be the key for the rematch, and urged the Filipino to fight all three minutes of each round.

"I thought he did well in the first half of the fight, but then he coasted over the second half and only fought one minute of each round," Roach said of Pacquiao.

"In the (Brandon) Rios fight, I thought he was able to go back to being active for three minutes of each round," he added.

Roach also wants Pacquiao to take advantage of Bradley's tendency to get into wild exchanges when caught.

"Manny can cut the ring off, and get him against the ropes, and one thing about Bradley is that he will punch back if he gets hit. It’s in his nature," said the trainer. "He loves to exchange, and when he does, he swings a little wild."

"I think Manny can catch him during one of these exchanges," Roach said.