Michael Koncz says the public wasn’t supportive of a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch upon its announcement

Boxing advisor Michael Koncz speaking in Los Angeles (Photo: Chris Robinson – www.HustleBoss.com)


By Chris Robinson

There is no denying the significance of the April 12 rematch between WBO welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley and former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.

Meeting inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the same locale as Bradley’s controversial victory over Pacquiao in June of 2012, each fighter has a lot to gain and much to lose with a pivotal second encounter.

Yet despite all of the subplots surrounding this particular matchup between two of the sport’s best, Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz doesn’t think that the bout was embraced the way it could have been.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting fight,” Koncz told me at the Pacquiao-Bradley II kickoff presser in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “When it was first announced I don’t think the public was behind it and the media wasn’t behind it. But Bradley’s matured as a fighter; fighting the Russian and fighting Marquez.

“They both have something to prove,” Koncz added. “Bradley wants to show that he belongs at the top of the elite fighters. Manny wants to get his belt back and show that last fight around we made some mistakes and maybe we weren’t as aggressive as we should have been. This time it will be different.”

While there were initial reports that Bradley was asking for $10 million for the Pacquiao rematch, the Palm Springs fighter reportedly will be taking home close to $6 million instead.

Koncz applauds Bradley’s willingness to budge from his early demand.

“I don’t get into our negotiations,” said Koncz. “Those are private. But it’s always about money. That’s what they are in the ring for. But I got to give Bradley credit. He was willing to accept less than was in his contract from before, so I give him credit for that.”

There was much uncertainty surrounding Pacquiao following his knockout loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in December of 2012. The Filipino icon’s comeback victory over Brandon Rios this past November in Macau, China offered up a showcase of his still-evident hunger and variety of skills over the course of twelve rounds.

And with the win, so too did Koncz get a sense that Pacquiao is truly returning to form.

“He’s on his way back,” said Koncz. “What I liked about the Brandon Rios fight was the activity of Manny with the combinations and volume of punches and his lateral movement. Can we improve on a couple of things? I think so and we’ll do it in the Bradley fight.”

CHECK  BELOW  FOR  all-access Pacquiao-Bradley II press conference coverage from Los Angeles as well as other boxing updates…

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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com

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