Photo by Val Cuenca
LAS VEGAS - Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley made the weight Friday for a welterweight world title rematch that has both fighters aiming to lay the ghost of their polarizing first contest.
California's "Desert Storm" Bradley seized the World Boxing Organization belt from the Philippine icon with a narrow split decision that many believed the American didn't deserve in June 2012.
Although Pacquiao took the defeat in stride, he suffered a brutal knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in his next fight, and is out to prove his subsequent lopsided decision over Brandon Rios marked the start of another illustrious chapter in his storied career.
Pacquiao, 35, weighed in at 145 pounds (65.77 kg), to the cheers of an adoring crowd in a corner of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
He struck a pose on the scales as Philippine flags waved, while Bradley looked shocked to be greeted with boos.
Bradley, who has twice defended the title he snatched from Pacquiao, tipped the scale at 145.5 pounds.
Pacquiao, a congressman beloved in his homeland, brings a record of 55-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts to the bout.
Bradley boasts a record of 31-0 with 12 knockouts, but despite his unbeaten status and champion's belt, he has taken second billing to Pacquiao in this fight.
Both fighters will make $6 million (4.3 million euros) from the fight, according to official documents filed with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but charismatic promoter Bob Arum said Pacquiao is guaranteed $20 million once all the revenues are in.
Bradley says he doesn't care. He knows Pacquiao is the bigger name, but he says "Pacman" is on the down slope of a professional career that stretches back to 1995.
"I think he may lack fire," the dogged American said. "His motivation is not there. He's been at the top for a very long time. He has over 60 fights in the ring with all the best. Maybe this is one fight too late for him."
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