MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao admitted that he took Timothy Bradley lightly when they first met two years ago but vowed that things will be different this time around.
In the maiden episode of HBO’s “Pacquiao-Bradley 24/7” aired over the weekend, Pacquiao once again stressed the need to go all out against Bradley this time.
The fighting congressman said he took it easy on Bradley June 2012, and that allowed the American to escape with a controversial decision.
“I should put more on gas and be aggressive,” Pacquiao said as he tried to recall that fight in which he appeared to dominate.
“I’m not saying that I could knock him out, but I’m just nice to Bradley in the ring. That’s what happened,” he added.
Pacquiao insists he won that fight, and most boxing observers and fans will agree with him.
The fighting congressman then lost to Juan Manuel Marquez by knockout but managed to redeem himself with a lopsided win over Rios last November in Macau.
“I’m just smiling and I said, I think my thought is, ‘This is boxing; part of the game,’” Pacquiao said of the controversial result.
Pacquiao will challenge Bradley for the latter’s WBO welterweight crown, and the Filipino knows he has to revert to his old, aggressive self to succeed.
“I’m not saying that I’m going to knock him out, but I will bring back the aggressiveness and the killer instinct that he wants to see,” he said.
“It’s good for me. It’s good. It’s kind of challenging me. I want to answer him in action on April 12th,” Pacquiao added.
Meanwhile, Bradley once again found the opportunity to question Pacquiao’s hunger.
This time, it was in the first episode of HBO Sports’ “Pacquiao-Bradley 24/7” that aims to drum up their rematch on April 13.
Though he still acknowledges Pacquiao’s skills, Bradley said the Filipino’s once vaunted punching power is gone.
“He hasn’t lost any of his ability. I feel he lost his power. He don’t have it anymore,” said Bradley, who beat Pacquiao on points in their first meeting two years ago.
The undefeated American said Pacquiao no longer has business being in the ring due to his lack of killer instinct.
“He’s (Pacquiao) so compassionate, man, and so caring and so loving, dude, the man can’t even say he’s gonna knock me out. That type of guy don’t belong in the ring,” he added.
“When was the last time Pacquiao knocked somebody out?” Bradley asked.
Pacquiao hasn’t scored a knockout since stopping Miguel Cotto in 2009. The rest of his fights after that – except his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012 – went the distance.
Pacquiao has vowed to go all out against Bradley this time, and his trainer Freddie Roach wants no less than a knockout win.