Bradley is Pacquiao’s preferred April foe
MANILA, Philippines — Timothy Bradley is a cinch as Manny Pacquiao’s foe when the Filipino boxing icon returns to the ring in Las Vegas this year.
Pacquiao himself has chosen the unbeaten American over former sparring partner Russian Ruslan Provodnikov for his next fight scheduled April 12, but may still be moved to May.
“Yes, I want to fight Bradley, simply because I want to win back the title he took from me by a questionable decision,” the 35-year-old congressman from Sarangani announced during the Scoop sa Kamayan On Air radio program on dzAR.
Bradley snatched Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown in 2012 by split decision that was so unpopular the WBO later formed an independent panel of judges, who went on to conclude that Pacquiao was the unanimous winner.
“Almost everybody believes that we won that fight,” Pacquiao said in Filipino. “It’s but proper that we get it (title) back for those who, like me, became victims of judges’ bum decision.”
The rematch with Bradley did not materialize as Pacquiao subsequently suffered a sixth-round knockout to arch rival Juan Manuel Marquez later that year.
Pacquiao, however, rebounded with a masterful unanimous decision over brash Brandon Rios last Nov. 24 in Macau.
Pacquiao clarified that he has yet to confer with his promoter, Hall of Famer Bob Arum, regarding his choice of Bradley and his preferred date.
“We will still meet to finally decide on who I will fight,” said Pacquiao. “Definitely, I would insist that Bradley be it. We’ll know before the month ends.”
Arum has actually reserved the MGM Grand for April 12, but Pacquiao wants to defer this to May because his wife, Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee, is expecting their fifth child in April.
“Not that I’m afraid to face Ruslan,” Pacquiao explained. “He’s a very promising talented fighter who has a very bright future that suffering a loss this early in his career might be detrimental to his aspiration of becoming a great fighter.”