December 5, 2014

Desert Storm: Tim Bradley knows why he lost the Manny Pacquiao rematch

Pac-Man Gets Rematch Revenge
By Jeffrey Freeman — On-again-off-again, Vegan American Timothy Bradley didn't really win the first time he faced off against Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas two years ago or during their sin city rematch last April but he's moving on from that traumatic 24-round experience. "I'm glad it's over. I can't take anything away from Pacquiao," Bradley told KO Digest in promotion for his return from the defeat. Bradley is now charging head-first into a bout of dirty boxing against Argentine mauler Diego Chaves, 23-2, 19 KO's, on Dec. 13 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. It's an HBO televised comeback for "Desert Storm" and he is in the right frame of mind and body for Chaves. That again includes eating meat and fish in training. "I learned a lot in the Pacquiao fights, you learn more from losing battles than from winning. I learned not to beat myself in the ring and not to be someone that I'm not. I'm going back to the drawing board, to my boxing and my speed."

Watch out for Diego's dirty tactics Tim
Bradley has also studied the videotapes and he knows that Chaves is a "very dirty fighter" who he believes, "hates getting hit to the body." Known for using his head as more than just a hat-rack, Bradley's "thinking cap" is firmly where it belongs. "I've got some dirty tricks of my own," warned Bradley, a talented technician who can brawl or box as he showed against Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez respectively. Chaves is "no slouch" according to Bradley but he's clearly a notch or two below the pound-for-pound star's recent competition. A well-prepared and well-focused Bradley should probably be able to tear Chaves apart like a hungry black bear devours a wild salmon.

But then what? Hibernation while he waits for boxing's cold war to thaw?

The California native's future options are not so clear yet but Team Bradley did float the possibility of challenging "Special One" Kell Brook for the IBF 147 lb. crown while also staying focused on the task at hand. "For this Chaves fight, I gotta do me, be me, do what got me to the top. I have to fight the best I possibly can and win the fight."

Last time out, Bradley officially lost to Pacquiao by way of a more unanimous decision and the pair went their separate ways with an air of mutual respect and understanding with regard to what actually transpired between them in two title fights. "Pacquiao is one of the true fighters, one of the greats and he'll be remembered for a long time when he retires. He's a living legend, a fantastic person in and out of the ring, much respect to him." In hindsight, Bradley, 31, makes no illusions about their controversial 2012 fight which he won by stunningly awful split decision. Unless the entire boxing world was under a collective state of mass-hypnosis, we all saw the same thing no matter the scores—Pacquiao was too much Pacquiao for Bradley to handle, and just too good for him to beat. 

"I can't worry about judges and I can't worry about decisions," Bradley wisely concluded moving forward. 

Bradley's early attack backfired against Pacquiao
And so Bradley, 31-1, 12 KO's, now looks ahead to the future while he still looks back on the past in order to learn from it. We asked the now former WBO welterweight champion to break down how and why he believes he lost the April 2014 rematch to Pacquiao. Here's what Bradley told KO Digest:   

"I went in with the mindset that I had to knock him out in order to win. That threw me off my game. The plan was to outbox Pacquiao and everybody knew it, even Pacquiao. I didn't do that. I went straight at him. I attacked him. I did have some success on attack but I could have been a lot better in the late rounds if I had taken my time and just tried to outbox him. I should have stayed true to myself and true to my abilities and I should have been all right in that ring. It should have been OK man. I got a little out of my context."