Timothy Bradley's life took a downward spiral after he he dethroned Manny Pacquiao as WBO welterweight titleholder in June 2012. It might otherwise have been considered a career-defining victory, but it was considered the most controversial big fight outcome in many years.
Although Bradley was awarded the decision by scores of 115-113 on the cards of official judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford, Jerry Roth had the same score for Pacquiao and an informal poll of 51 writers favored Pacquiao over Bradley, 48-3.
During a Tuesday press conference in Los Angeles announcing his rematch with Pacquiao on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Bradley vowed that he would redeem himself with a more emphatic win, doing so before many of the same media members who believe that he lost.
"This fight's definitely bigger than the first one… I want to thank Pacquiao and his whole team for coming to terms to make this fight happen. This fight is basically redemption for me. I feel, deeply, in my heart, that I won the first fight," said Bradley, who received death threats in the aftermath of their first bout.
"I know that everybody out here don't feel that I won the fight. I know they don't feel that I want the fight. I didn't get any credit for the first fight. So, this fight is basically redemption for me. I'm going to beat Manny Pacquiao to get the credit that I didn't get in the first fight. That's the bottom line."
Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 knockouts), who turned 35 in December, rebounded from the setback against Bradley and a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012 by easily outpointing Brandon Rios last November.
In his last two fights, Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) took considerable punishment but outpointed Ruslan Provodnikov via close unanimous decision last March before earning a split-decision over Marquez last October.
"Manny says he's going to be the fierce Manny Pacquiao from before, when he first came on to the scene, and that's the Manny Pacquiao that I want to see on April 12. That's the Manny Pacquiao that I really want to see," said Bradley, who reportedly fractured his left foot and sprained his right foot in the first bout.
"I want to fight nothing but the best fighters in the world, and I'll prove every time that I step out there into the ring that I'm one of the best fighters in the world, and that I can beat everybody that they put in front of me. April 12 is not going to be an easy task, but I feel that at the end of the day, I will be victorious once again."
Pacquiao will earn a guaranteed $20 million, down from the $26 he earned when he lost a controversial decision to Bradley in 2012. Bradley will receive $6 million, $1 million more than in their first meeting. The fighters also agreed to random drug testing to be executed by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.