By NICK GIONGCO
Manila, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao says he wants a rematch with Timothy Bradley after the sanctioning body reviewed their controversial bout of June 9 and said the Filipino fighter should have been given the decision.
Pacquiao said Thursday he would prefer a rematch to Bradley giving up the WBO welterweight title which the American won on a split decision because “people may think I just usurped it.”
A panel of five judges were assembled by the WBO championship committee to review the June 9 bout and said it should have been awarded to Pacquiao. He said: “My supporters shouldn’t worry. We’re going to get that title.’’
The WBO can not overturn the result of the fight or force Bradley to surrender the belt, but can authorize a rematch.
Meanwhile, Tim Bradley is not handing the title belt to Pacquiao on a silver platter.
Speaking to the Desert Sun, the main newspaper serving Bradley’s hometown of Palm Springs, the 29-year-old Bradley, who was rewarded a 12-round split decision over Pacquiao last June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the American puncher has no plans of giving it back.
“The fact that (Pacquiao’s) an icon, one of the biggest names in boxing, and he lost to little old Timothy Bradley, people can’t understand that. I’m not going to give back the title. I’m still the welterweight champion of the world, I’m still 29-0 and I feel I won the fight. There has never been a fighter in the history of boxing who ever gave his title back.”
These statements were made just prior to the findings made by the WBO that Pacquiao had won the fight on the scorecards of ﬁve world-class judges that the boxing body selected to review the highly-controversial fight.
But given Bradley’s belief that he had nothing to do with the judges’s decision, it is very unlikely that he has changed his stance about keeping the titlebelt and is looking forward to facing Pacquiao in a rematch on Nov. 10.
Bradley said he is conﬁdent of proving that his victory was not a ﬂuke.
“Take nothing away, Pacquiao is tough,” Bradley told the paper. “He can explode at any moment. All I have to do is move. Just move. It’s frustrating for Pacquiao to have to chase you around. He likes to sit and land his power shots. If he has to pick up his feet, he’s vulnerable. All I gotta do is move. I don’t care if they know the gameplan. All I’m going to do is outbox him…He can’t hang with me as far as my intensity level and what I bring.” (With report from AP)