Las Vegas, NV, United States (4E Sports) – Manny Pacquiao says he will no longer be the “nice guy” that Timothy Bradley Jr. fought in June 2012 when they tangle again in April 12 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
This time around, Pacquiao promises to throw more punches that he did against recent victim Brandon Rios and land them.
“Last time I was too nice,” Pacquiao quipped.
Bradley, seemingly beaten easily by a dominant Pacquiao, had his hand raised as the split decision winner in their first fight.
“I thought I won the fight easily. I controlled the fight every round. I had a feeling in training camp that he would run from me once he felt my power and he did after third or fourth round,” said Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) when the boxers met the media at the Beverly Hills Hotel to formally announce their rematch.
But Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs), 30, of Palm Springs, Calif., saw things differently and lamented that people didn’t give him ny credit for the win.
“This fight is basically redemption for me,” said Bradley said “I’m gonna beat Manny Pacquiao and get the credit I didn’t get in the first fight.”
The decision unleashed a storm of worldwide controversy over the scoring by the two judges who had it for Bradley — Duane Ford and C.J. Ross, both of whom have since resigned as professional boxing judges.
The WBO, which sanctioned the title fight, held an independent review of the video and all of the judges scored it for Pacquiao.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, strongly believed Pacquiao won, going so far to ask the Nevada attorney general to investigate the judges, a probe that tuned up nothing.
Mainly because of how one-sided the fight seemed to be, Arum realized then that an immediate rematch probably was a tough sell.
After the loss to Bradley, Pacquiao faced Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time in December 2012 and was knocked in the sixth round. But in November, Pacquiao returned from the 11-month layoff and easily outpointed Brandon Rios in a performance that let everyone know that he still had something left.
Bradley, meanwhile, survived a brutal slugfest with Ruslan Provodnikov for a win and then outboxed Marquez in October to complete two successful title defenses.
Arum now strongly insists that a rematch will be competitive and noted that he is backed by the sportsbooks in Las Vegas.
“To judge a fight as to whether it is competitive or not, there is only one true test — the sportsbooks in Las Vegas,” Arum said. “And those sportsbooks have this fight as close to an even-money fight as possible.”