"There’s three judges out there. That’s the way they judged it. What do you want me to do? The thing that I like about Manny is that he can put his punches together. And they’re all hard shots. He’s very gifted. Manny came on strong in spurts. [Manny] missed a lot of shots... My corner felt like I was winning the fight."
Timothy Bradley, WB "Oh Really?" Welterweight Champion
When you put Bradley's above comments under a microscope, all of a sudden all kinds of forensic evidence show up. Fingerprints of truth are revealed in tone, and deception in clarity.
Bradley didn't beat Manny Pacquiao no more than the Broncos were competitive against the Seahawks, and he's just as eager to face him again as Peyton Manning is to face the defense that maimed him in Superbowl XLVIII.
But face him he will.
On March 8th, the same day Canelo Alvarez makes his return against Alfredo Angulo, Pacquiao will return to the confines of the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles to sharpen the blades of his battleplan for "Timothy Bradley II".
No, Bradley will not be the same guy he was in their yesterday. Today, his is a style of yesteryear with elements of tomorrow, courtesy of terse battles with Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez.
It's somewhere in the middle of those perfomances that the Bradley we see on April 12th will emerge. But Pacquiao is preparing for "Godzilla", with the full intention of bringing him down for a count of 10.
"It felt like there was like 3 of him in there. I couldn't find him. He was everywhere, and I couldn't see punches. That's never happened to me before."
Oscar De La Hoya, December 8, 2008
“He’s so fast. I couldn’t see where his punches came from. He threw lots of combinations and he can knock down his opponents with any of his punches. He's nothing like what I thought I knew from TV."
Lydell Rhodes, February 25, 2014
I know what you're thinking. Who the hell is Lydell Rhodes and why is this relevant? Because he's a 19-0 pro who happens to be a lot like Timothy Bradley. Gym wars have a way of evening the playing field if you will.
There is no pressure of the live event and they are generally only witnessed by a select few. Paid sparring partners are expected to give their best for it could lead to bigger and better things if they do what they've been paid to do.
Challenge the star attraction.
New IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter comes to mind, as we saw him capitalize on his now legendary sparring sessions with a title winning effort over Devon Alexander.
Pacquiao obliterated Rhodes, who is in danger of being sent home if he does not improve, because Pacquiao most certainly will. According to Nonoy Neri, one of Pacquiao's conditioning coaches, the Filipino icon did not really unleash the full extent of his speed and power.
“He was actually controlling his punches and not really trying to hurt him, so he's lucky he only had a bloody nose," said Neri, referring to Rhodes. "Manny right now is just around 70 percent ready. We need to polish his jab and enhance his speed. But what he needs right now is just a minor adjustment."
The "adjustment" Neri is referring to, is more mental than anything else. The aim of this camp beyond peak conditioning - which Pacquiao is fast approaching - is the return of an assassin. Make no mistake about it - Pacquiao's intention is to knock out Timothy Bradley.
"We'll make sure he doesn't let up on anybody," assured Neri. "We need him to fight with revenge on his mind and he will. Trust me. Bradley's in a lot of trouble."
Up next in the solid Pacquiao sparring partner contingent, will be veteran Steve Forbes and top-rated Kendall Holt. Reportedly rounding out the experience once the eight-division champion really gets into gear, will be return duals with old nemesis and new stablemate Miguel Cotto, challenging WBC middleweight champ Sergio Martinez.
The message is clear: rewind the clock and set it for an alarm on April 12th.
Despite a dominate showing against Brandon Rios, it still featured a Pacquiao who at times appeared apprehensive in his assault. This time, he will seek to unveil the mentality of a killer, and I expect something along the lines of Pacquiao vs. Morales II in this one.
We will see. ;)