BEVERLY HILLS – Tim Bradley could be the envy of just about every boxer today.
Manny Pacquiao talked about his April 9 world title fight against Bradley as the last in his colorful career, saying he will definitely feel sad walking away from the sport that had been very, very good to him.
“I wanna thank all of you, especially Tim Bradley for making this historic fight in my career,” said Pacquiao, the last man to speak in the dais on Wednesday during the first stop of the two-city press tour promoting his third meeting with Bradley for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown.
“I’m so happy hanging my gloves after this fight because of what I have done. I’m sure I will feel sad after, but that’s life.”
His blooming political career is what beckons for the 37-year-old Filipino boxing icon, who decided to forego a bid for a third and final term as congressman of Sarangani province to seek a seat in the Senate in the national polls this summer.
And so for one final time, he’ll be going up in the ring again, with Bradley earning the distinction as the last man to have ever fought the greatest Filipino athlete ever.
The two already fought twice in the past, splitting both bouts that took place two years apart. Bradley authored one of boxing’s most stunning reversals in 2012 when he scored a split decision over Pacquiao, before the Filipino evened things up in 2014 with a unanimous decision to deal the American his first ever loss as a pro.
The Pacman, guaranteed to still make a prize purse of US$20 million, said he expects a different Bradley to show up this time.
“I chose Bradley because I believe he’s different (from) the last fight we had,” said Pacquiao. “He improved a lot. We know that and we saw that in his last fight against (Brandon) Rios.”
Bradley beat an overmatched Rios to a pulp last November, scoring a ninth-round stoppage to regain the 147-lb. title belt he lost to Pacquiao two years ago.
With a new trainer in Teddy Atlas coming on board during the Rios fight, Bradley – again expected to become US$6 million richer - told the large throng of media men inside the Crystal Ballroom of the Beverly Hills hotel that the 12-round bout is going to be an entirely different story.
“It’s Manny Pacquiao’s farewell fight and I know he wants to win it really badly, but so do I,” said the 32-year-old champion. “I heard that Manny Pacquiao chose me because he knows me. I think it’s different now. I honestly do. This fight is going to be different than the first two that we had.”