retrə byo͞o SHən/
Merriam-Webster defines this as “punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved.”
I don’t know about you – but to me, this is right around the corner from “revenge”, which is of course, the theme of this series I began a few weeks back. Imagine that definition to include (as it would relate to Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao or WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley) “as a result of perceived injustice whether real or imagined”.
The good folks at London’s “The Telegraph”, of which I’m a huge fan of, were good enough to present Pacquiao with the question as to whether or not this fight is indeed about revenge (see here for that article).
Whether they were prompted to pose this question as a result of what I've written is debatable, as is Pacquiao’s response.
"I don't think vengence or revenge, but I think it's just sports, you know. I have to prove that I can still fight and that I am the winner," declared a rather politically correct Pacquiao.
I suppose he’s supposed to talk this way, given his political position and affable nature. But “real talk” (as it’s called in the streets), let’s not get this twisted, Pacquiao wants to beat the living sh*t out of Timothy Bradley and then spank him with the belt that was essentially stolen from him.
As the initial press events unfolded to promote this championship rematch, Pacquiao was uncharacteristically vocal. He was demonstrative in not only his belief that he won the first fight with Bradley, but generally dismissive of the idea that he won’t brutally dismiss Bradley on April 12th.
When I observed Pacquiao at the press conference in New York, he seemed to sum Bradley up with a look of almost flatulence. His disposition, his way, his countenance, the way he spoke… all of it registered a feeling of supremacy with palpable irritation with the iron potato-headed Bradley.
Bradley, for his part, was rather docile during this time several weeks back. He seemed to defer, as if his respect for Pacquiao almost didn’t allow him to press on the gas of trash talk.
But he’s been going to the pump a lot lately.
“When is the last time Pacquiao knocked anyone out?” demanded Bradley on HBO’s outstanding series 24/7.
He followed that vitriol up with saying that Pacquiao is too nice, too compassionate, and doesn't even have the heart to say he’s going to knock him out.
Bradley seethes at the notion that he didn’t beat Pacquiao, something he knows in his heart of hearts to be true. I’ve personally never seen a more dejected “winner” of a title fight in my life.
It’s interesting to me how things have been orchestrated and shifted over the last month, with Pacquiao returning from a flame to a pilot light publicly, as Bradley switched these positions.
What he doesn't understand is that it’s going to backfire on him.
My sense is somewhere along the lines in this promotion, whether it was his father or his trainer or whomever, someone suggested to Bradley that he assert himself as the champion and to begin attacking Pacquiao.
Big mistake. HUGE.
He basically called him “soft” in the Face/Off, famously declaring Pacquiao no longer has “killer instinct”, and even went so far as to say he didn’t belong in the ring with him in that opening 24/7 episode.
It’s hard to contest his reasoning given all that he’s accomplished and overcome on his way to elite status, but he’s probably unearthed the superstar in Pacquiao.
Not since his 2nd fight with Erik Morales have I seen this type of determination in Manny, and I think Bradley is in for a sustained beating.
Bradley does have a penchant for escape, is as resilient as they come, and has the will of a lion, but more than likely he’ll lose his mane as the fight progresses.
The bout in less than two weeks marks the very first time Pacquiao will be seeking to regain a title, and the fact that it’s a rematch against someone who now tells the world he lost 8 out of 12 rounds against the first time – doesn’t bode well for Tim’s chances.
And I say this as objectively as possible, but he’s just not nearly as talented as Pacquiao.
“You will pay the price for your lack of vision!”
The Emperor, while zapping Luke Skywalker’s ass with blue lightening in “Return of The Jedi”
I think Pacquiao will indeed take Timothy Bradley on a journey to the dark side, and I see this fight turning into a 2014 version of his bout with Lehlo Ledwaba.
Because he made the mistake of trying to goad Pacquiao into an all out assault, Tim is about to be overwhelmed and beaten up in the process. The angry, one-dimensional stalker he hopes he can simply wear out and pick apart via decision will instead be a focused assassin of measured assault.
It is Bradley who is more or less looking for retribution while it is Pacquiao who will find it. This, while achieving revenge in the process.
If everyone subscribed to the notion of “an eye for an eye”, then that would mean that the whole world would be blind. On April 12th for the whole world to see, that notion will only apply to Timothy Bradley – with an ice pack.