MANILA, Philippines – Former boxing superstar “Sugar” Ray Leonard commended Manny Pacquiao for successfully coming back after the devastating knockout he suffered from Juan Manuel Marquez.
Leonard said Pacquiao, who is penciled for an April 12 rematch against Timothy Bradley, said that he was amazed with the poise showed by the Filipino fighter against a heavy-handed boxer like Brandon Rios.
"It’s commendable that Manny has come back after, and I say this with the utmost respect, such a traumatic and devastating loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. It’s seldom that a fighter will ever recover from a defeat like that," the boxing legend said in RingTV.
Leonard, however, thinks Pacquiao will have to bring his old self back when he clashes with Bradley for the second time.
The Filipino boxing icon will be attempting to reclaim the WBO welterweight crown he lost to to the American when they clash next week at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"He needs to be the Pacquiao of old against Tim Bradley in the rematch," said Leonard.
Leonard said Bradley is expected to bring in a competitive fight especially after coming off two thrilling victories over Ruslan Provodnikov and Marquez.
"Against Ruslan Provodnikov, oh my God, what a crazy fight that was and Bradley took so much punishment. I appreciated him being so open about slurring his speech, and the damage he sustained, but you can’t keep taking shots like that. Then again, boxing is all about styles and Tim was back at the top of his game against Juan Manuel Marquez," he said.
"This rematch with Manny should be interesting."