Today at the artsy and visually spectacular New World Stages near Broadway and Times Square in New York City, Top Rank, Manny Pacquiao and WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley held a press gathering to discuss their upcoming score to settle.
In the first affair, while Bradley won, he really didn't beat him. And while Pacquiao may not have lost (I had it 9-3 Pacquiao), he really didn't try to win.
The stakes couldn't be higher in 2014, as the Filipino icon comes off a convincing win over the ever forceful Brandon Rios and a unique saga with the US government (which is all but resolved- he can pay his electric bill folks).
Bradley played a dangerous game of Russian roulette with Ruslan Provodnikov and nearly got struck by the bullet. He may have decided to fight this way due to criticism of his showing against Pacquiao. He then solidified his status with a clear points win over Pacquiao's bitter nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.
Bradley see's holes in Pacman's game.
TIM: "Manny didn't look the same against Rios. He didn't have his usual killer instinct. That's the first thing I noticed. I don't think he has the hunger anymore and it's never coming back. He no longer has his killer instinct. That's the first thing I noticed in the Rios fight. Every time he backed Rios into a corner, Manny stepped back instead of going for it."
This was a completely different sounding and looking Pacquiao to me. He seems full of confidence- and even contempt- for Bradley. In a very self-assured way, he resembles the fighter about to face Joshua Clottey instead of Floyd Mayweather on 3/10/2010.
Irritated over allegations he would successfully challenge in court, Pacquiao went after a reluctant Clottey as if he were Mayweather. This time it looks like he'll go after Bradley as if he were, well, Bradley.
MANNY: "All I know is I want to get back that belt he won off of me. He knows he didn't win. Boxing has always been fun for me. This time the fun is secondary. This is a mission to prove I am the best. In my fight against Rios I proved I can still fight at the high level everyone expects from me. I showed I can still control a fight as well as I ever have. He'll be talking about my killer instinct at the end of this fight."
I'm already ready for "March Madness" and HBO 24/7 with these two.