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PACQUIAO: "I WOKE UP FROM THE BAD DREAM OF 2012"


PhilBoxing.com




World Boxing Organization welterweight belt-holder Timothy Bradley re-signed with Top rank Promotions and at the same time affixed his signature on the dotted line to put his 147-pound crown on the block against Filipino hero Manny Pacquiao from whom he took the title in a highly questionable split decision nearly two years ago.

Chapter II of what promises to be another bitter rivalry in the history of sweet science is set April 12, a year and seven months after Bradley took away the plum on June 9, 2012, at the MGM Grand, the same venue where he won in the eyes of two of three judges, one of whom had already retired in shame.

Bradley himself announced his re-signing with Top Rank last Saturday, allaying fears that he had reservation in doing do, even as he, likewise, declared his agreement to a rematch with Pacquiao.

The undefeated American (31-0 with 12 KOs) was with wife Monica when he agreed for the contract extension and the fight in the presence of Top Rank president Todd duBoef.

Pacquiao (55-5-2 with 38 KOs), through Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, agreed to a $20 million purse guarantee, $6 million less than the $26 million he earned from the first fight. Bradley stands to get $6 million, a million more than what he got the first time around.

Those are apart from the pay-per-view and gate earnings both will have a share each.

The press tours to hype the showdown and bring the protagonists to Los Angeles and New York have been scheduled February 4 and 6.

Both Pacquiao, 35, and Bradley, 30, welcomed the development as they declared their plans to start training early to redeem themselves of what happened that June 9, 2012 when they first crossed mitts.

“Now I will have that opportunity to prove once and for all that I, indeed, won that fight as everyone acknowledged, except for the two judges who voted for (Bradley),” Pacquiao told this writer Sunday, a day following his three-day sojourn to Cebu and Bohol to visit the victims of a powerful quake that struck the two provinces last November.

The father of four with wife and Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee, was referring to judges C. J. Ross and Duane Ford, who saw that controversial fight end with Bradley the winner, 115-113, the same verdict submitted by Jerry Roth, who had Pacquiao the victor.

The Filipino so badly outfought Bradley that the American appeared at the post-fight press conference on a wheelchair.

“And to prove my point, I will have to put myself in readiness by setting up my training camp 10 weeks before the fight, siguro middle of February,’ Pacquiao asserted, adding he will spend the first five weeks in his hometown General Santos City before moving to the Wild Card Gym, owned by chief trainer Freddie Roach, in Los Angeles.

“Nagising na tayo sa masamang panaginip that was 2012 (the year he also lost via a sixth round KO to arch nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez). Lessons were learned from that experience and I won’t let myself dig that same hole again,” he said.

“It feels great to finally have this done,” Bradley, for his part told the Los Angeles Times in announcing his decision to agree renewing his contract and fighting the Filipino ring icon. “Pacquiao has agreed to all of his terms and I agreed to all of my terms as well.”

“As far as the extension goes as well. Top Rank definitely had taken care of me and I’m happy with all of thE terms and we’ve made the agreement,’ Bradley said.

“I’m ready to get this fight camp started, but most of all, I’m ready for redemption,” Bradley told the Times.

Since that disputed victory, Bardley has been saying he was made to feel he lost that initial encounter and was highly bitter over the treatment, especially that which denied him the superstar status he believed he earned.

A close victory over Pacquiao’s sparring partner and Siberian strongman Ruslan Provodnikov and a more impressive demolition of Marquez last year gave him a semblance of respect though.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, made a strong comeback from his twin setbacks from Bradley and Marquez with an almost n-contest win over erstwhile unbeaten Brando Rios, paving the way to open negotiations for this coming meeting with his conqueror.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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