By Jannelle So
“What is more difficult to accept: the loss to Timothy Bradley via controversial decision; or the loss to Juan Manuel Marquez via knock out?”
This was the question I asked at the media day of world boxing champion and congressman from the Philippines Manny Pacquiao as he prepares for his April 12th rematch bout with Timothy Bradley.
“Walang masakit. Tanggap ko lahat,” Pacquiao said. (Nothing is diffuclt. I’ve accepted both.)
“Marquez was devastating of course. With Bradley, we got robbed. But that’s part of life,” said Hall of Fame Trainer Freddie Roach. “We see that in boxing all the time. People see things differently and it’s not the first or last time we will see that. But the Marquez fight, I don’t ever want to see that again.”
“Of course ‘yung pagkatalo kay Bradley. Kasi ‘yugn kay Marquez, not expected. Kahit sino’ng magaling na boksingero, kahit sabihin mo na nakuha mo na ‘yung kalaban, hindi mo expect na ‘yung swerte, sa kaniya pa rin,” said long time friend Buboy Fernandez who also works the corner of Pacquiao for each fight. (Of course the loss to Bradley; because the loss to Marquez was unexpected. Any good boxer, even if you say you got your opponent, you don’t expect that luck could be on his side.)
“Pero ‘yung sa Bradley kasi, lahat ng nanuod ‘nung laban sa buong mundo, alam at nakita nila kung sino ang talagang panalo,” Fernandez added. (But with the Bradley fight, everyone in the whole world who watched the fight saw and knew who won that fight.) “So mas masakit ‘yun. Sa tagal ng ilang minuto, nakikita ng mga tao kung sino’ng panalo. Kaysa Marquez fight, split seconds lang ‘yun.” (It’s more painful because in a matter of so many minutes, people saw who as winning; whereas with the Marquez fight, it was over in a few seconds.)
But though they differ in views on this, all agree that a rematch with the “Dessert Storm” – who broke Pacquiao’s winning streak when they first met in the ring on June, 2012; and halted the Filipino’s dominance in the Welterweight Division – is needed.
“Kailangan kasi para i-prove na mali ‘yung mga sinasabi niya na siya ang nanalo,” said Pacquiao. “Nasa kaniya ang korona ko. Kailangan ko maibalik.” (It’ is needed to prove that what he’s saying that he won that fight is wrong. He has my crown. I need to get it back.)
“Well in the history books, it goes down as a loss and people forget how the fight really went, and so forth. And you have to avenge your losses in life. So for the history books, we need to do that,” said Roach, adding a dig on Bradley: “Yeah, Bradley is a well-liked guy. I’m not really sure why. But he’s talking a lot of trash. I think he’s true colors are coming out that he’s not such a nice guy.”
Fernandez adds how they plan to win convincingly: “Kaya nga pina-igtingan pa naming ‘yung training namin. Dine-velop naming ang dipensa at pag-atake. Kahit ‘yung fighting congressman natin, inamin niya na naging masyado siyang mabait sa mga ibang laban. So within this time ibang Manny Pacquiao ang makakaharap ni Bradley. Nung nag-uumpisa pa lang kami ng training, sinabi ko na ‘Kalimutan mo muna ang maawa kasi kailangan nating manalo at bumawi. Kung pwede kunin na natin nang maaga para wala nang maisulat ang mga judges.’” (That’s why we are training harder. We developed his defense and attacks. Even our fighting congressman admitted that he had been very nice in his last fights. So this time, a different Manny Pacquiao will face Bradley. When we started training, I told him ‘Forget mercy first. We need to win and avenge the loss. If we can get it early, we should, so the judges will have nothing more to write.)
Another strategy for the fight is to reunite with an old friend, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune who helped Pacquiao many years before, in the same capacity. He now vows to bring back the “old Pacquiao” to face Bradley next week in Last Vegas.
Fortune said he was “somewhat” keeping tabs with Pacquaio and his fights even when he stopped working in his camp. “There were different opponents back then. When he was with me, he was beating Marquez and Morales and Barrera. These guys were at the peak of their careers. And then the other guys who were not such much at their peak. But now we are again facing a guy who is at his peak and is doing very well. He’s in shape. He’s coming to fight.”
Fortune added that despite this, there’s no need for major changes in Pacquiao’s regimen: “Few of the exercises have changed but we basically went back to the old style – old school training and hard work.” He guarantees fans that they will see the “old Manny Pacquiao back; for sure!”
Fernandez echoes the same guarantee: “Masaya si Manny sa training. Lahat expecting for knockout.” (Manny is happy with training. All expect a knockout.)
“Kababayan Today” continues its tradition of bringing you the highlights and sidelights from Las Vegas. For your daily does of Pacquiao features and interviews during the week of the fight, catch
“Kababayan Today” on LA18, weekdays at 4p.m. in Southern California.
For complete interviews and more check out previous “Kababayan Today” segments on YouTube – www.youtube.com/kababayanla18.
Jannelle So is Host/Producer of “Kababayan Today” that airs daily at 4:00pm on KSCITV-LA18; and syndicated in Hawaii on weekdays at 3:30pm on Kiku. Catch previous programs at www.youtube.com/kababayanla18. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JannelleSoOFFICIAL. Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JannelleSo.