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Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley fight for the first time...again

Joseph Herron Updated
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On June 9th, 2012, eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao defended his WBO Welterweight title against a relative unknown outside of boxing circles, former unified 140 pound champion Timothy Bradley. Despite out-landing "The Desert Storm" 253 to 159 over twelve hard rounds, according to CompuBox statistics, the Filipino destroyer relinquished his title to the hard working and physically durable underdog from Palm Springs, California.

Although both men exchanged blows in the ring almost two full years ago, they could be facing each other at 100% for the first time on April 12th.

Since 2012, the future Hall of Famer from General Santos City, Philippines, has experienced somewhat of a boxing epiphany.

After dropping the decision to Tim Bradley under controversial circumstances, the 35 year old fighter was KO'd by long time nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012, and came back last year with a dominant performance against the hard charging former WBO Junior Welterweight title holder Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios.

Even with the one sided victory over the 27 year old pressure fighter, Manny's critics came out in droves with the overwhelming opinion that Pacquiao's best days were long behind him.

Coupled with Timothy Bradley's now well known sentiment that the Pac-man doesn't possess the killer instinct he once flaunted in the ring, the hard punching southpaw from the Philippines is determined to prove that he still has the competitive fire and ability to annihilate his opposition.

"I still have the hunger to win and my desire now is as strong as it ever has been," claims Manny Pacquiao. "Bradley's talk about me has inspired me. It has provided me great motivation in my training, and you will see the results on April 12th."

"To be honest, I wasn't as motivated when I was training for our first fight. I guess I didn't take him seriously enough. But I will be more aggressive and won't be so nice to him in the ring this time."

Longtime head trainer and mentor Freddie Roach insists that Bradley didn't get to see the ferocious Manny Pacquiao during their first fight together in 2012, but will be introduced to his brand of "Filipino Power" for the first time in less than two weeks.

"Manny knows he is going to have to close the show this time," claims the Hall of Fame boxing coach. "The first fight with Bradley was so easy for Manny that after six rounds he just took it easy on him. Not this time. Our Mantra is 'Close the show. No mercy.' Bradley's days as welterweight champ are numbered. It's Last Call for Bradley on April 12."

But the Filipino fight legend isn't the only participant in the HBO PPV event who has taken his share of verbal and physical punishment since their first pairing.

Subsequent to receiving the WBO 140 pound title in 2012 from the judges at ringside, "Desert Storm" matured as a fighter and was forced to weather his own emotional maelstrom due to the controversial nature of his victory over Pacquaio.

With the addition of a dramatic victory over current WBO Junior Welterweight Champion Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16th, 2013, and a brilliant boxing performance against Mexican legend JMM in October of last year, the athletic 30 year old boxer claims that he is indeed a much different fighter than the person who met Pacquiao in the ring almost two full years ago.

"I am a different fighter than the one who fought Pacquiao in our first fight. I am more mature, smarter, and I now listen to what my corner is saying," states Tim Bradley.

"There were also a lot of things that just weren't right during the first fight. I was largely immobile because of my feet. I wasn't able to move like I usually can during a fight because I twisted one foot and broke the other. He didn't get to see the real Tim Bradley last time out."

"That was also my first time competing on the PPV stage. Since then, I've gained a lot of experience from my last two fights, especially with the fight against Marquez, who is a legendary fighter. So I'm definitely a different fighter now."

With both men claiming that they are much improved since their first meeting on June 9th, 2012, what should the fans expect to see in less than two weeks in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Fight fans will have to tune in to the HBO PPV on April 12th, to find out!!


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