By Luis Sandoval
Manny Pacquiao will look to set the record straight when he faces Timothy Bradley on April 12th after their first fight ended in controversy. Many felt Pacquiao deserved the victory but it was Bradley who walked away with a win and it’s taken almost two years for both men to finally get in the ring again and settle things once and for all.
Initially the thought of a rematch was something that didn’t interest either Pacquiao or his trainer Freddie Roach as they felt it was clear who the real victor was. Instead they chose to revisit their age old rivalry with Juan Manuel Marquez and in their fourth meeting, Marquez was finally able to not only beat Pacquiao, but knock him out.
Bradley in turn had a stellar 2013 as he was part of the Fight of the Year when he fought Ruslan Provodnikov and beat Pacquiao’s nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez to boot.
A lot has changed in two years and Manny acknowledges that Bradley isn’t the same fighter he was in 2012; he’s better. He expects Bradley to show something different than he did in their first meeting when they meet again.
“Yes, I’m expecting that. Especially because he proved a lot in his last two fights with [Juan Manuel] Marquez and Ruslan [Provodnikov]. He’s changed a lot since then in the last two years” Pacquiao would tell BoxingScene.
The big question in this fight is can Manny regain the fire he’s shown in the past and be able to unleash it on Bradley in their rematch. Bradley showed he was vulnerable in his fight with Provodnikov as he was dropped and badly hurt on several occasions.
Pacquiao was asked if given what he saw in Bradley’s fights with Provodnikov and Marquez, if he felt confident he could hurt and/or possibly knockout Bradley this time around.
“I’m not thinking about a knockout. My focus is to throw a lot of punches and more aggressiveness. I want to prove to him that the killer instinct is there. If the knockout comes, it comes. It’s a bonus if you work hard. If the knock out comes it comes but I’m not thinking about that” said Pacquiao.
This fight is undoubtedly important to Pacquiao and he plans to score a victory not only for himself, but for his countrymen.
“This fight is a very important for me because people in the Philippines are expecting to see a good fight because we feel we got robbed in the last fight we had. Now we need to make sure we get the victory.”
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