Has Manny lost killer's instinct?
By Joaquin Henson Updated Saturday June 09, 2012 - 12:00am
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From left, Sen. Bong Revilla, Daisy Romualdez, Danita Paner and Manny Paner arrive in Las Vegas for the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.            

LAS VEGAS – How WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s new-found religiosity will affect the way he fights is a question to be answered only when he battles unbeaten challenger Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here tomorrow morning (Manila time).

Now that he spends up to two hours a day doing Bible study and sharing the Lord’s words, there is apprehension that Pacquiao may be compassionate and too forgiving when trading blows with an opponent in the ring. Even before he found his way to God, Pacquiao already showed signs of mercy in holding back against Antonio Margarito and Sugar Shane Mosley. With his life turned 360 degrees, Pacquiao may have lost his killer’s instinct as faith has become his driving force.

Sen. Ramon (Bong) Revilla Jr., who planed in from Manila on a Philippine Airlines flight via Vancouver the other night, will be at ringside for Pacquiao’s fight and said he hopes to see the killer’s instinct back. Revilla said he expects Pacquiao to win but hesitated to predict whether by knockout or decision.

“I think Manny needs a convincing win because he’s coming from a fight (against Juan Manuel Marquez) where he wasn’t his usual self,” said Revilla who’s an avid boxing fan like his father Ramon Sr. “I don’t know if Manny has lost his killer’s instinct. We’ll find out in the fight against Bradley. He was too kind to Margarito and Mosley. I think Manny realizes he has to win decisively over Bradley.”

Revilla said he watched the recent Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto fight in Las Vegas and wasn’t impressed. “Cotto ran out of steam in the end but he hurt Mayweather, particularly with shots to the body,” said Revilla. “Manny knocked Cotto down but Mayweather didn’t. If Manny fought Mayweather that night instead of Cotto, he would’ve won, maybe by knockout. Mayweather got hurt by Cotto. Manny can do the same but it’s got to be Manny with the killer’s instinct.”

PBA legend Manny Paner, who was on the same PAL flight as Revilla, said Bradley is too slow to stay away from Pacquiao and will be an easy target. Paner, his wife Daisy Romualdez and their daughter Danita were invited to Las Vegas by Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson.

“It’s my first time to watch Manny live in Las Vegas,” said Paner who works at the Bureau of Immigration. “I remember watching the Ali-Frazier fight at the Araneta Coliseum in 1975. I always watch Manny’s fights on TV. I follow our other fighters like Brian Viloria and Marvin Sonsona. The other night, I sat four hours watching tennis on TV. I also watch the NBA and PBA on TV.”

Paner was surprised to find out that Bradley had scored only one knockout in his last 10 bouts and that was over a 40-year-old opponent who later tested positive for marijuana. “If Bradley has no power, Manny will move in and take him out,” said Paner. “Once Manny finds out Bradley can’t hurt him, he’ll take chances. Even if Bradley tries to move away, Manny will catch him. It could be over in six rounds.”

Also on the flight were Rep. Victor Ortega and his wife Mary Jane, Jesus Is Lord Church founder Eddie Villanueva, Abigail Santillan of the National Telecommunications Commission, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and a long-time Pacquiao backer Lito Mondejar. PAL Las Vegas station manager Louie Resurreccion was on hand to welcome the passengers at the McCarran Airport.

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