LONDON - Manny Pacquiao has insisted his killer instinct is still alive and well despite Tim Bradley questioning the motivation of the Filipino superstar.
The pair clash this weekend, live and exclusive on BoxNation, in a world title showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, looking to settle an old score following Bradley’s controversial points victory back in 2012.
Much was made of the judges’ scorecards during that first encounter, with the undefeated Bradley winning a split decision, to the bewilderment of many onlookers.
Since then, however, both men went their separate paths with Pacquiao’s desire for the fight game in recent times being called into question by some, including Bradley, something which the Philippines Congressman has hit back at.
“My motivation is the same now as it was when I started my boxing career,” said Pacquiao. “I love the competition and I love to win. When that stops, so does my professional boxing career. But I don't see that happening for a long time.
“Because I am facing Tim Bradley again I am extra motivated for this fight. I may not have won the decision the first time we fought but I know I did not lose that fight. I want the world title he won from me back around my waist. I want to prove I am the better fighter,” he said.
Pacquiao is aware of the significance of this fight, having bounced back in style from his sensational knockout loss to Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez by overcoming Brandon Rios late last year.
“Freddie Roach [trainer] and Justin Fortune [conditioner] are asking more from me in this training camp than I have ever given before and as hard as that is to do, I am giving them everything they have asked of me,” he said.
“Too much is at stake for me and for my country. I want to end my career on a winning streak and against the best fighters. No one has ever defeated Tim Bradley during his professional career. I want to be the first name in his loss column. It will not be easy. Nothing at the world championship level is easy,” Pacquiao insisted.
“I still have the hunger and the desire to win and I appreciate Tim Bradley giving me this rematch to prove it. Unfortunately for him, on April 12, I will not be able to repay him that favour with kindness,” he added.
The eight-division world champion, who for the past decade has been regarded as one of the very best pound-for-pound in the world, also says he has learnt from his shock loss to Marquez.
Having not knocked anyone out since Miguel Cotto in 2009, question marks have been raised in regards to his punching prowess of late, something which he was too eager to show against the skilled Mexican.
“The one thing I learned from my fight against Marquez was patience. When I had him teetering I became reckless and went in to finish him. I was careless and he landed the perfect punch. That was learning a lesson the hard way. But I learned it,” Pacquiao said.
“I still have the killer instinct. I am not afraid to use my power and go for the knockout. But I will remember the lesson I learned from my last fight with Marquez. Knockouts need to come naturally, you should not force them. But Freddie [Roach] likes knockouts and I like to make Freddie happy,” he said.
‘Pacman’ also shot a note of warning to Bradley, believing that it will be the Pacquiao who blitzed his way past all-comers that he will share the ring with this Saturday night.
“I have all the respect for Bradley and what he has accomplished but I have no fear of him. He has inspired me to exceed my previous performances inside the ring. If Bradley wants to meet the fighter who stopped Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, he’s going to get his wish on Saturday,” said Pacquiao.
Tonight from 7pm BoxNation will air episode two of 24/7: Pacquiao vs. Bradley free-to-air for all Sky TV viewers, with episode three to be shown this Friday at 7pm.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2 is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD & Virgin 546) this Sunday at 2am. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.