Saturday, April 12, Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2) will take on Timothy Bradley (31-0) for Bradley's WBO welterweight title. The bout will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada and televised on HBO PPV.
It is no secret that the first encounter between the two in June of 2012 was filled with a lot of controversy due to the fact that the majority of the boxing public felt Pacquiao was robbed of a victory by the judges scoring the fight. Therefore, Pacquiao and Bradley will both be seeking redemption in order to let the world know who is truly the better fighter.
For Pacquiao, the match up is a must win as he has lost 2 of his last 3 including a devastating knockout loss to rival Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1). However, with the combination of Pacquiaos' victory over Brandon Rios (31-2-1) in his last fight and an impressive victory over Bradley, Pacquiao would be back at the forefront and increase further demand for a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0).
If not, Pacquiao will likely look towards retirement as another loss would be extremely detrimental to his brand.
On the other hand, Bradley comes into this fight with a lot of anger as he has made it clear that he was depressed after his victory over Pacquiao. The depression stemmed from the fact that he had worked so hard to capture a significant world title and was given no credit when he finally fulfilled his life long dream.
Bradley told ESPN.com,
"This fight is basically redemption for me," Bradley said. "I feel deep in my heart I won the first fight. They don't feel I won the fight and I didn't get any credit. This fight is basically redemption for me. I'm gonna beat Manny Pacquiao and get the credit I didn't get in the first fight. That's the bottom line."
Consequently, the boxing world can expect to see a Bradley that is extremely focused and ready to take on whatever Pacquiao brings to the table. With extreme anger and a chip on his shoulder to prove he is truly the better fighter in the public eye, Bradley will be "game" to put it all on the line.
Promotionally, Bob Arum's Top Rank holds both fighters within its stable, which made the fight relatively easy to make. Arum was among the majority that felt Pacquiao won the first encounter and had requested a review by the Nevada State Commission of the scoring in the first fight.
Odds wise, according to betoline.ag, the sportsbooks have Pacquiao as a 2 to 1 (68%) favorite, which is closer than the odds of approximately 3 to 1 were for the first fight.
Overall, the match up is set up to provide the boxing world with a lot of action and drama. Both men have a lot on the line and are out to prove to the world that they are the better man in the ring. It should be interesting to see how both men approach this fight with such a significant amount on the line for the future of their respective careers.