Bradley fighting for full credit

"He was depressed about how the media came down on him, the fans, how his friends turned their backs. He said, "What the hell I done? I just fought the fight of my life. I fought through adversity and this is what I received? Man, you know what, forget about boxing.' He told me he quit. I said just take some time off. I told him, 'Remember where you come from. You're a Christian man. I never been in a place you're in right now but I know by experience that anything you going through, you're not alone. You've got your family and you got God to back you up.' "

Eventually, Timothy Bradley and his wife and kids took a vacation to Hawaii, which helped him sort things out.

"I had a lot of time to think and to clear my head," he said. "Lot of time to be with my family and I started realizing what's important to me in my life.

"I would never take my own life. I'm a fighter. I have everything. I have more to live for. For me to take my own life is a coward. I'm not a coward. But it crossed my mind of just doing it."

A lot has changed for Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) and Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) since their first showdown. Pacquiao, 35, got knocked out hard in his next fight by rival Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth clash, took a year off, then returned to easily outpoint Brandon Rios in November in Macau.

Bradley eventually found the desire to fight again. He let his injured feet heal and returned with a chip on his shoulder to outpoint Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov in the 2013 fight of the year. It was an extremely violent and intense battle, and Bradley fought in a style he said was by design in order to prove to the world that he was a worthy champion.

But even though the fight with Provodnikov was nine months after the Pacquiao fight, Bradley still harbored suicidal thoughts. It was only after the win against Provodnikov and the outpouring of respect for his heart and determination that they finally subsided.

"[Suicide] was in my mind. I was still mad. I was still pissed off and wanted to show everyone what I was made of," he said. "After that fight it was a release. It was big relief after the Ruslan fight. I put it all on the line for all the fans to show everybody what I'm made of."

Bradley then reverted to his more controlled, deliberate style in October when he outpointed Marquez in a superb performance. He will be making his third title defense when he faces Pacquiao again.

Yet despite the two big wins and having earned so much respect for his valiant showing against Provodnikov, Bradley still believes he has something to prove Saturday.

It's probably why, despite his insistence than he legitimately won, Bradley thanked Pacquiao for giving him another shot at Wednesday's final news conference.

"Absolutely, I have a lot to prove in this fight, and No. 1 is that the first fight was not a fluke," he said. "There were a lot of things that happened in the first fight that weren't right. I am a different fighter now, a different beast, a different animal this time around and I am going to prove to the fans and everybody watching. I got the win but it felt like I lost because I didn't get any credit from the fans and it's important to get the credit from the fans. I feel I need to showcase myself and win by a large margin.

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