WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is out to erase doubts about his controversial win over Manny Pacquiao about two years ago.
Bradley escaped with a majority decision over Pacquiao, which sparked outrage from most boxing observers and fans who thought the Filipino dominated the bout.
In an interview with Chris Mannix of SI.com, Bradley recalled the ordeal he went through after that fight.
“Look, my life and career went down the drain after the first Pacquiao fight. I didn’t want to revisit that dark cloud just yet. I wanted to fight a legend in Juan Manuel Marquez. I wanted to beat the guy who beat Pacquiao,” he told Mannix.
Bradley did beat Marquez last October – and Ruslan Provodnikov a few months before that – to preserve his undefeated record. But he admits the ghost of the first Pacquiao fight still haunts him.
“If I were to die tomorrow, [the first Pacquiao fight] would probably be the last thing on my mind. I have to prove to the fans that I did beat this guy. This is my opportunity. It’s redemption,” he added.
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Bradley will get the chance to prove he legitimately beat Pacquiao when he takes on the Filipino icon again on April 12 in Las Vegas, for the title originally held by the fighting congressman. He believes his rival still got what it takes to duke it out at the highest level.
“He (Pacquiao) is still a vicious fighter. He still has speed, accuracy and power. He still has really good movement. Honestly, I thought he was a little timid to pull the trigger with [Brandon] Rios’s power. He didn’t have the finishing instinct. I think he could have done more. But he played it safe. It could be from that knockout [to Marquez],” Bradley explained, taking note of his observations on Pacquiao’s last fight against Rios in Macau.
“He wasn’t that hungry guy we saw in the past, where if he really hurt you, he would finish you. I do think his defense got a lot better. He seemed to lack a little power, but Rios has a tremendous chin,” he added.
Bradley went on to point out Pacquiao’s difficulty in dealing with fighters who love to move, something he plans to prove again in their rematch.
“It will be interesting. I think the fight could be similar at times, but not the same. I didn’t have my feet under me from the second round on. I was battling against myself because of the pain in my feet. That’s a little difficult,” said Bradley.
By Dino Maragay/Contributor (The Philippine Star)