HBO presented the first installment of their 24/7 series for the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley rematch, which unfolds April 12 in Las Vegas, after their HBO Boxing After Dark broadcast ended.
First off, we saw Bradley and then Manny readying themselves for training, and then clips from their first tangle, in 2012. The judges spoke louder than the action did on that night, we recalled, as we heard Michael Buffer say, "....and the newwww."
"My time is not done yet," says Manny Pacquiao, while Bradley declares that he will leave no doubters this time. We saw more clips from that scrap, and heard Bradley describe his head going into the event. He said both feet were hurting him within a few rounds, and that was because he wasn't wearing socks.
Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman both spoke. Kellerman talked of the stakes going in, while Lampley said he didn't think it was a close fight, that Manny was taking care of business. Manny said he was too nice to Bradley during the fight. Lampley called it a near shutout, he recalls. He said Buffer gave him a look before reading the decision, and he knew something funky was going down.
Promoter Bob Arum admitted he though Buffer screwed up. Freddie Roach said only a "couple guys" though Bradley won, but theirs were the votes that counted.
Bradley protested, saying the fight was close but people won't admit that because Manny is revered, "he's God."
Manny postfight told Roach that I told ya so, that Bradley ran as he predicted. In the Bradley locker room, Bradley is hurting, with his feet barking at him.Trainer Joel Diaz said they didn't much enjoy the W. On a gurney, in an ambulance, Bradley says he needs to watch the tape to see if he really won.
Diaz says the win became "a nightmare." Bradley says it was a dark spot, with people talking nasty smack. Wife Monica Bradley explains the backlash, and the fighter says he got hate mail. Diaz says the offers of big names didn't come. Pacman explains that he didn't need a rematch, as he knew he won the first one handily. Thus, he aimed for another tangle with Juan Manuel Marquez. We all know how that went down...and that Manny went down.
We see a clip of the KO. Bradley, Lampley and Kellerman all talk about the vicious KO. Roach says he was worried at first but that Manny snapped into normalcy.
Arum says that carelessness can result in bad news, and that Manny made a mistake getting careless. Both Manny and Bradley say they understand it can happen to anyone. Bradley said he was happy, because now the pressure would be on Pacman.
Bradley says that a Ruslan Provodnikov fight was dangled. Bradley entered that fight with emotions bottled up, and he got careless. He "fought like hell," he said, instead of boxing smartly to a UD. He took a knee to end the fight, and if not, he would have lost, he said. Postfight, he peed blood, a first for him. He left some of himself in that ring, he notes.
Bradley then explains that the pressure was off, and thus he was in a mode for his next bout, against Juan Manuel Marquez. "It was sweet, it was easy, it was truly easy," he says. He had fun that night, he states.
Pacman says that he's not thinking about his KO loss, and that he knows he needs to move on from that. He met Brandon Rios, we recall, and Roach says that he didn't want wars for Manny in camp. On fightnight, Manny was relaxed, he says. Bradley notes that Manny wasn't able to stop Rios, while Roach says it was a good comeback fight. Lampley says that Roach would like a return of the KO craver Pacman.
We next see Bradley working out. He says he is now relaxed, and now craves to be great. Diaz says he's walking tall, is happy, because he knows how good he is. "Truly, I have arrived," he says, but he admits the Pacman "win" bothers him. He needs to rectify it, he says.
We see footage from the NYC presser. Manny says he will try and prove the killer instinct isn't lost, while Bradley says he loves proving doubters wrong.
Who has more at stake, more to prove heading into this bout, we wonder. Manny says he won't promise a KO, but will bring back the fire. Bradley doubts it, says he's still skilled, but doesn't crave winning as much. Roach thanks Bradley for the fuel, as does Manny.
Bradley gets the last word: "It's either him or me."
The next episode runs April 5, Saturday, at 11:30 PM ET. Then, on Thursday, April 10, at 8:30 PM, they run the third ep.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV