As he heads into this month’s rematch with Timothy Bradley, Manny Pacquiao is convinced the judges gave him a rough time in their first fight, which he lost in a controversial split decision in June 2012.
Indeed, the first fight between the two is widely considered to be a miscarriage of justice by the judges, one of whom (C.J Ross) inexplicably ruled the fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather a draw.
However, while Pacquaio has not stopped an opponent since Miguel Cotto in 2009, he insists that the ‘KO’ is not a priority.
“We feel we got robbed in the last fight and we want to make it right, but I’m not thinking about the knockout,” Pacquiao told the assembled media at the Wild Card Boxing Club on Wednesday.
“My focus is to throw more punches and to be more aggressive. If the knockout comes, it comes. Knockouts are a bonus from working hard.”
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, believes that the volume of punches thrown rather than the power of them will be the key to victory.
Roach also trains Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley’s opponent in last year’s Fight of the Year, and refuses to underestimate the strength of Bradley.
“He might be one of the toughest guys in the world. We’re not going to go for the knockout. If the opportunity comes we’ll take it.”
Roach went on to tell the media: “Tim Bradley has good legs and he does move pretty well but he’s not a runner. Manny can cut the ring off and get him against the ropes, and one thing about Bradley is that he will punch back if he gets hit.
It’s in his nature. He loves to exchange and when he does, he swings a little wild. I think Manny can catch him during one of these exchanges.”
While Pacquiao and Roach refuse to underestimate Bradley, the opposite does not seem to be true. Bradley seems to think that Pacquiao’s long run without a stoppage win is a signal that he no longer possesses the “killer instinct”.
“It helps when Tim Bradley says I don’t have fire,” he said. “It inspires me to work hard and prove that I still have the killer instinct and aggressiveness.
“I’m expecting a better Tim Bradley than I fought in the first fight. He proved in his last two fights with Marquez and Ruslan that he’s a better fighter now. He proved his toughness against Ruslan. I’m prepared for that kind of fight.
“If Bradley is more aggressive, it’s good for me.”
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