Timothy Bradley believes a lengthy career has sapped Manny Pacquiao of his motivation, and that their WBO welterweight title bout on Saturday may be one fight too many for the Filipino legend.
"I think he may lack fire," Bradley said in Las Vegas on Thursday.
"His motivation is not there. He's been at the top for a very long time. He has over 60 fights with all the best. He's 36 years old. Maybe this is one fight too late for him."
Bradley, who has a professional record of 31-0, including 12 knockouts, is defending the WBO belt he won from Pacquiao in June 2012. Most ringside observers felt Pacquiao won comfortably, but Bradley was awarded a split-decision victory.
If the winner's experience in the aftermath was negative, the man who officially lost the fight seems to be at ease with what happened.
"In this sport, sometimes you're on the winner's side, sometimes you're on the loser's side, so you have to prepare for that," Pacquiao said at the MGM Grand where the fight will take place.
"I never complain. In boxing, it's part of the sport. If you don't want to lose, then don't fight."
But Pacquiao, with a record of 55-5-2, including 38 knockouts, is facing questions. He has not won by a knockout since stopping Miguel Cotto in November 2009, and was knocked out at the end of the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez in his first outing after the Bradley fight.
Pacquiao professes to be unconcerned by his recent knockout drought, asserting that he was on the verge of stopping Marquez until walking into a right hand from the Mexican.
"If he didn't get me in six rounds, by seven rounds I could have finished him," he said. "But by being careless, that's what happened."
Besides, he argued, "if the knockout comes, it comes, but my focus is to be aggressive and throw a lot of punches and make the fans happy."
Bradley, on the other hand, is confident that this time he is the one who will be making fans happy. "I know this is my time," he said. "It's my time, it's my moment."
Tags: Timothy Bradley , Manny Pacquiao , Pacquiao-Bradley Rematch , Pacquiao vs Bradley Rematch