Tim Bradley, who has worked hard his entire life, is still reeling from the biggest win of his career.
The split decision victory over fan-beloved Manny Pacquiao turned Bradley into a household name and was instantly discounted as just another bad decision, yet another reason why boxing is flawed. However, amid the varied cries of foul, Tim Bradley is still ready to bask in the light of his biggest victory and his sun has yet to rise.
“I win the fight and now you are discrediting me and saying that I didn’t win the fight? I just think its wrong so this fight for me is basically redemption its like, I beat you one time nobody believes I beat you. I’m going to beat you again but everybody’s going to say damn he beat him and that’s mainly what I want out of this fight. I’ve proven myself over and over that I can fight that I belong in the ring with the best fighters in the world. I don’t have to prove that I just have to just win decisive enough to where the fans and all the people watching around the world can say, ‘hey Tim Bradley really beat him and he beat him good this time’ and that’s all the credit I need man.”
Transversely, Manny Pacquiao believes wholeheartedly that he won the first fight. Although extremely humble in the ring during the loss, urging fans to respect the decision, Pacquaio knows this fight lingers over his legacy and that his rabid fans demand justice.
"This rematch is very important to me,” said Pacquiao. “Tim Bradley may have won the decision but I know I did not lose that fight. I love to compete and I compete to win. Tim Bradley has told me and everyone that I am not the same fighter who knocked out Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. I look forward to proving him wrong on April 12. I have a few fights left and I want to retire by winning them all and by being a world champion. That can only happen if I beat Bradley on April 12.”
Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank has already leaked that the winner of this rematch will faceoff against Juan Manuel Marquez, placing both competitors in yet another rematch situation. With both fighters having wins over Marquez and Pacquiao suffering a devastating knockout loss to Marquez back in 2012, the road to redemption still looms for whoever wins tonight’s pairing.
"I leave those decisions to my promoter Bob Arum,” said Pacquiao. “I do know Juan Manuel Marquez has a tough fight on May 17 against Mike Alvarado and he should not look past that as I should not, and will not look past Timothy Bradley"
An always-game impassioned Bradley sees Marquez as yet another chance at hushing his naysayers of which Marque has joined the ranks.
“I’m always ready for new challenges,” said Bradley, “but you know the business side of boxing it is what it is. Like a lot of people Marquez felt he got robbed in the fight that we had so I win this fight and Marquez want to get it up again, I embrace that with flying colors, no problem. Like I said I’ll fight anybody if they’re considered the best. I’ve already beat Marquez but if he wants to go at it again, if it makes sense, why not?”
Tonight’s battle is about one thing for both competitors: redemption, and whomever has their hand raised will leave with one less thing to prove. For Pacquiao, who walks a tight rope balancing act with his many responsibilities a win would be the start of erasing blemishes heralding the commencement of his golden years.
“I am proud of my ability to balance the various responsibilities in my life. It is always a challenge but I enjoy it. I believe balancing everything keeps life interesting and fresh. Boxing is my passion, public service is my calling and my family and my faith are the loves of my life. Physically I feel like I did when I was 25. I am training harder and smarter; thanks to the experience I have gained. I believe fans can expect to see an exciting Manny Pacquiao in 2014.”
For Bradley, who had the biggest 2013 of any fighter not named Floyd Mayweather, tonight will be yet another indication that as a fighter he has arrived.
“Everything I said for the Marquez fight came to the light, the Ruslan (Provodnikov) fight was crazy and there was a lot of drama so a lot of people know I’ve got a lot of heart, that I wont back down from a fight, that I’m willing to stand in there and do anything it takes to win a fight, so my stature has definitely risen man; I’m in a different place now and I just feel its my time right now.”