MANNY Pacquiao must still be hounded the memory of his last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, both in his sleep and in his waking hours.
The bitter taste of his controversial last victory—unconvincing to many—has left Manny feeling the need to come up with something awesome in his upcoming fight with Timothy Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
You know the story: Cries from pro-Marquez supporters claiming that the Mexican champ has been robbed of triumph for yet another time.
Who knows, perhaps even Manny himself has doubts about the result of the Trilogy. After all, he narrowly won over Marquez by majority decision. Two judges handed in scorecards of 116-112 and 115-113 while the third ruled the bout a draw at 114-114.
Pacquiao’s winning streak was stretched to 15 fights but pro-Marquez supporters shouted “robbery!”
* * *
According to an item in the Pacland website, Pacquiao stressed the need for a knockout, or at least for a fan-pleasing show in the fight with Bradley, for the fans to forget about his below-par performance in the Trilogy .
Pacquiao explained that at the time of the fight with Marquez, he was having his own personal war with wife Jinkee and his mind was not a hundred percent focused on the task at hand.
“It’s really important because, of course, everybody knows my last fight was very close,” Pacquiao said .
This isn’t to say though that he is underestimating the less experienced Bradley.
“Bradley is not the kind of boxer we underestimate. In him I will be facing a younger hungry fighter,” Pacquiao said.
Bradley has declared that this high-profile bout for Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight belt is the start of a new phase in his career—which goes without saying that he is looking to win against the 8-division world champion on June 9.
* * *
“This is like my first fight all over again,” said Bradley, the WBO light welterweight champion who holds a 28-0 record with 12 knockouts.
“In order to beat the champion, you’ve got to take it to the champion,” Bradley said. “We are setting out to win this fight and not sit around and look pretty. I am going to take it to Pacquiao.”
Trainer Freddie Roach was quoted as saying that could be just what’s needed to draw the best from Pacquiao.
“I think the way Bradley is going to come forward and force a fight, we’re going to see a great Pacquiao,” Roach said. “Bradley’s a tough guy, very resilient. But being a tough guy doesn’t win fights.”
Roach said he’d been impressed with the intensity Pacquiao has brought to his preparation.
Roach shook things up a bit by bringing in new sparring partners who didn’t know Pacquiao, weren’t friends and wouldn’t go easy on the champion.
“It worked out real well,” Roach said, adding that he’s impressed with the intensity Pacquiao has brought to his preparation for the Bradley fight.
* * *
By the time I realized that no retirement ceremony for the Living Legend Sonny Jaworski had taken place last May 27, it was already the next PBA playdate.
“What happened?,” I asked PBA media bureau head Willy Marcial.
He said The Big J had asked for a postponement. Next month, maybe.
The hanging of the Big J’s famous No. 7 jersey is long overdue. From what I gathered, it has been planned by different commissioners over the years but it never pushed through.
Perhaps the Living Legend does not want to retire. Or maybe he is superstitious about something adverse happening if he retires.
Incidentally, I forgot to ask Willy about the Barako Bull promo girls who visited the Smart-Araneta Coliseum during a PBA playdate last week to give the media, among others, a trial sip of the canned product.
Somebody caused trouble by allowing the arch-enemy of Barako Bull to enter the latter’s territory. This incident has been reported to Barako chief George Chua and, from what I gathered, investigation is now ongoing.