The simple, yet brutally effective tagline for one of boxing's most anticipated rematches between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley speaks volumes to the importance of the proceedings on April 12 for both fighters and the sport as a whole.
Both victims of one of the most controversial decisions ever, the fork in the road created through Bradley's victory over Pacquiao in their first dance has yet to cease in its importance. Both enter the historic MGM Grand to fight once more to set right the consequences of the past in order to finally move on—fans would be remiss to skip the event.
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas
When: April 12, 2014, 9 p.m. ET
TV: HBO pay-per-view
Tale of the Tape
|Categories||Manny Pacquiao||Timothy Bradley|
|Born||Dec. 17 1978||August 29 1983|
|Wins by KO||38||12|
A master technician, Bradley will surely look to utilize the slight reach advantage in a big way as Pacquiao acts as the aggressor.
At least, that's the way things look upon approach. Pacquiao has his critics considering it has been quite some time since he scored a knockout (which one can't simply glean from his superb record), and his passive-aggressive approach in the previous bout against Bradley left many asking "What if?"
Pacquiao is well aware. He has stated recently that his lack of aggression cost him the fateful match, per Dino Maragay of Philstar.com: "I should put more on gas and be aggressive. I'm not saying that I could knock him out, but I'm just nice to Bradley in the ring. That's what happened."
For what it's worth, Bradley isn't much of a home run hitter. He bobs and weaves his way through a barrage and counters with swift violence. In the ring with a redemption-seeking Pacquiao, now 35 years old, Bradley will surely be on the hunt for another decision—albeit of a more convincing variety.
While the rich history of both men is certainly there, the more pressing background fans must brush up on is the events that have transpired since Pacquiao was supposedly robbed.
Bradley started out as a bit of an unknown and a blip on Pacquiao's radar when the two made the first fight. It was the ultimate shot at a glimmer of glory, which the American seized—for better or worse.
The subject of much ire in the boxing realm over the result he couldn't control, Bradley has since upped his in-ring work to another level and helped to wrestle back some of the naysayers to his side. He has since looked dominant and every bit the WBO welterweight champion with strong victories over Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez—the man who had previously vanquished Pacquiao via the knockout heard around the world.
Top Rank president Todd duBoef agrees with this notion, per ESPN's Dan Rafael: "Bradley really established himself and differentiated himself from the pack with the Provodnikov and Marquez wins and he really wanted this rematch."
So does Manny. After the loss to Bradley, he elected to fight JMM for a fourth time rather than pursue a rematch to reclaim his title and took a brief slumber in a bout that many proclaimed ended his career.
Pacquiao recovered against Brandon Rios, but it was a hand-picked bout designed to keep his career light from fading. It worked, but only as a holdover until the rematch could be made.
That match was given the green light, and both men enter with careers at stake. The hype is real and the intrigue is palpable, which is a far cry from the facade that was the recent Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez bout.
Now, April 12 will see two careers collide, and like the last time, both will never emerge the same. But this time we know that going into the bout.