Tuesday, May 30, 2023  |



Lem’s latest: Manny Pacquiao eyes ‘payback,’ Tim Bradley, ‘redemption’

Fighters Network

When Tim Bradley questioned Manny Pacquiao's hunger toward the end of the 15-minute HBO premiere of Face Off with Max Kellerman that aired on March 22, he did so by looking directly into his rival's eyes.

"That hunger that he's looking for, it's no longer there. It's no longer there, and he can't get it back. It's gone. It's gone. It is, Manny. It's gone," said Bradley. "Manny, you can't even sit here and say certain things that you would like to say because of what you believe in. It's not there anymore. I truly believe that. It's not there…The killer instinct."

Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, answered Bradley on Saturday at the beginning of the second of three episodes of HBO's telecast of 24/7: Pacquiao-Bradley II.

"When Bradley told him that he had lost his focus and that he didn't have the killer instinct anymore at the Face Off," said Roach, "He felt like he was disrespected a little bit. He said to me, 'We'll see who has lost his killer instinct'… pay back is a b–ch"

The episodes are airing in advance of the April 12 rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley, who dethroned Pacquiao by disputed split-decision in June 2012.

"Knockout. That's the only way that this fight is going to end. A decision is not good enough. I won the fight, but I didn't get any credit for it," said Bradley, in response to how he expects to win the return bout.

"This is what this fight's about. Redemption. I'm here to redeem what I didn't get… On April 12, I'm going to show every body. I'm going to show the everybody. I'm going to shock the world, again. But this time, I'm going to get the credit for it."

In his past three fights, Bradley has beaten Pacquiao, rose from a 12th-round knockdown to unanimously decision Ruslan Provodnikov in March 2013, and won a split decision over four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez last October.

"If the fight goes the distance, and it's close, we're not going to win. Timothy has to put in the extra work to clearly beat Manny Pacquiao in every way possible to win this fight," said Bradley's trainer, Joel Diaz. "We know that Manny Pacquiao is always intense. He's fast, and he hits hard, so I just have to keep it an intense training level with Tim."

Pacquiao lost his next bout after Bradley in December 2012 by sixth-round stoppage to Marquez, against whom Pacquiao is 2-1-1, before winning a unanimous decision over Brandon Rios in his most recent fight in November.

Roach sees it ending in a stoppage for Pacquiao.

"I think that somewhere along the way, Bradley will try to exchange with Manny and Manny will catch him. I think that he does have his killer instinct and I think that he's been a little compassionate for some fights," said Roach.

"But for this one, I think that he's a little bit angry about that. He always tells me that he wants to give the people what they want, and I told Manny, 'people want a knockout.' I think that we'r all on the same page. I think Manny's going to win this fight by knockout, and I think that he's going to look good doing it."

Bradley also addressed the fact that he is no longer working with manager Cameron Dunkin, whom he hired shortly before earning what was then a career-high $345,000 for his December 2009 victory over previously unbeaten Lamont Peterson for the WBO's 140-pound belt.

Instead, Bradley is being managed by his wife, Monica, who negotiated a two-year contract extension with promoter Top Rank, according to Saturday's episode.

"I decided that, 'Hey, baby, you're going to manage me now. Let's keep it in the family, why not?'" said Bradley. "I'm paying this guy a whole lot of money to manage me and stuff, when you can do the same thing."

After facing Peterson, Bradley unanimously decisioned previously unbeaten Luis Carlos Abregu, dethroned Devon Alexander as WBC junior welterweight titleholder by unaimous decision, and knocked out ex-beltholder Joel Casamayor before facing Pacquiao.

"Tim has been climbing up the ladder. He is the one that does it, ultimately. We're obviously here to make the best that we can, not only for Tim, but for our family," said Monica Bradley, a mother of five.

"We don't want to turn around years from now and look back and not have something that we've built on. We both have set goals, and now it's just a matter of putting in a plan on how to get it. We're doing it together."

Also addressed was Pacquiao's reunion with former strength coach Justin Fortun, who returned from an association that had lasted from 2003 to 2007 to replace Alex Ariza in the wake of his rift with Roach.

"I decided to bring back Justin because we know each other," said Pacquiao. "We worked with each other before."

Roach discussed his split with Fortune as well as the reunion.

"Manny asked me if I could bring Justin Fortun back as his strength coach, because we were undefeated when Justin was with us. We never lost," said Roach. "And it's just like, Manny wanted someone from the past back. They get along well, Justin knows what buttons to push, and he knows how to make Manny work."

Furtune said he and Roach "squashed" their differences, which had to do with money.

"Freddie and I went our separate ways over something silly, and then, when I came back into camp, him and I apologized and we squashed it," said Fortune. "When we look back on it, it was just stupid. But, you know, the band's back together."

Among the methods employed by Fortune is Pacquiao's love of basketball.

"What I've bring back is mostly a lot of old school training, because I think that that's what a lot of fighters lack or have lost. When you mix it in with a lot of new stuff that works, that's what it is, because that's fighting," said Fortune.

"Bradley's asked for the old Pacquiao back, so we'll give it to him. But don't b–ch when you get it back. That's the thing. You're going to ask for it, we'll give it to you, and don't complain. No crying."

But Bradley is just as confident that it will be his training with conditioning guru James Rougely that will be the difference.

"I need something that will keep me strong, with flexibility and I need to have that stamina and that endurance. I respect James and what he brings, and I love the workouts that he has designed for me," said Bradley, after a day of brisk roadwork on a track under Rougely's guidance.

"You always get far out there because there's always a clock out there. That's how we know our progress. If I'm improving every week, I know that I'm getting better ever week, because the clock don't lie. Somebody's got to pay for this f–king pain that I'm going through right now, and that somebody is Pacquiao."

The WBO has declared that the winner of Bradley-Pacquiao II must face that between Marquez and Mike Alvarado, who will fight on May 17.

The third episode will be shown on April 10 at 8:30 p.m., ET/PT.



Former two-time junior lightweight titleholder Roman "Rocky" Martinez has pulled out of his scheduled lightweight bout with Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17 KOs) on the Bradley-Pacquiao II card due to an illness, and could be replaced by former title challenger Arash Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs), according to reports.


Middleweight Marco Antonio Rubio scored his fifth knockout with his sixth consecutive victory, a 10th-round knockout of  Domenico Spada in a clash of 33-year-olds on Saturday in Mexico.

In victory over Spada (38-5, 19 KOs), the Rubio (59-6-1, 51 KOs) continued to remain a viable figure in the 160-pound division, his last defeat coming by unanimous decision against Julio Cesar Chavez in February 2012.