Pacquiao: ‘I still have the killer instinct'
By Dino Maragay Updated Tuesday March 18, 2014 - 4:22pm

Manny Pacquiao says he still has the killer instict to knock out opponents. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao insists he is still capable of knocking his opponents out cold. It's just that knockouts, according to the Filipino boxing icon, need to come at the opportune time.

In a promotional blog released by HBO to drum up Pacquiao's rematch with Timothy Bradley, the fighting congressman said he has learned from his mistake against Juan Manuel Marquez in their last fight in December 2012.

Pacquiao battered Marquez in that bout and was on the verge of stopping him, but the Mexican tagged him with a perfectly timed counter shot right before the bell sounded to end the sixth round.

The General Santos City-based southpaw dropped face down and stayed motionless for a few scary minutes, and Marquez celebrated the win over his archrival, perhaps the biggest of his career.

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It was that bout that taught Pacquiao not to rush things.

"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," he explained.

Pacquiao rebounded with a win over Brandon Rios in November last year, and although he dominated the Mexican over 12 rounds, he failed to finish him off.

Pacquiao hasn't stopped an opponent since his TKO win over Miguel Cotto in 2009, and this led some boxing observers - including Bradley - to conclude that Pacquiao's killer instinct is gone.

The Sarangani congressman disagrees.

"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," he continued.

Freddie Roach wants his ward to stop Bradley on April 12, especially since fans love knockouts. Pacquiao, for his part, is willing to oblige.

"Freddie likes knockouts and I like to make Freddie happy," he said.

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