x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Manny Pacquiao wants to put on show for fans against Bradley

Boxing star looking for better display after controversial Marquez victory as he defends WBO welterweight title against 'hungry' young fighter.

Manny Pacquiao at media day workout at Wild Card Boxing Club, Los Angeles
Manny Pacquiao at media day workout at Wild Card Boxing Club, Los Angeles

Boxing star Manny Pacquiao says he wants to deliver something special for his fans when he faces against Timothy Bradley next month after his narrow victory last year.

Pacquiao edged out Juan Manuel Marquez by majority decision last November, stretching his victory streak to 15 fights but leaving his Mexican foe shouting robbery.

Adding more controversy to an already-heated rivalry, two judges handed Pacquiao the 12-round victory by margins of 116-112 and 115-113 while the third scored the fight a 114-114 draw.

Now the Filipino fighter insists he wants to give his fans something to enjoy when he takes on the hungry Bradley in June.

"It's really important because, of course, everybody knows my last fight was very close," Pacquiao said of the need if not for a knockout, at least for a fan-pleasing show.

Bradley, however, is looking at victory over the popular Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title would represent the start of a new phase in his career.

"This is like my first fight all over again," said Bradley, the WBO light welterweight champion who boasts a record of 28-0 with 12 knockouts.

"To beat the champion you've got to take it to the champion," Bradley said last week. "We are setting out to win this fight and not sit around and look pretty. I am going to take it to Pacquiao."

Pacquiao, who drew a throng of media to the Wild Card gym in Hollywood on Wednesday, promised he isn't underestimating the 28-year-old Bradley.

"He's a hungry fighter," Pacquiao said, although he made light of the age difference, saying that having built a record of 54-3-2 with 38 knockouts at the age of 33, he feels much younger.

"I'm still thinking I am 25, 26 years old," Pacquiao laughed.

Trainer Freddie Roach said he'd been impressed with the intensity Pacquiao has brought to his preparation.

"It's worked out real well," Roach said Wednesday. "They're aggressive, I think it's helped."

Roach admitted he had some concerns that Pacquiao's new devotion to Bible study and spiritual matters might hinder him in the ring, with a new-found "compassion" somehow affecting his killer instinct.

"I was a little worried about that at first, but from the way he's been sparring and the way he hits the mitts, nothing has changed," Roach said. "He understands boxing is a sport, the sport he chose."