by Nick Giongco
LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao believes he still has a shelf life of two more years as he gears up for this Saturday’s rematch with Tim Bradley here at the MGM Grand.
“(I am giving myself) a couple of more years,” Pacquiao said on Tuesday during formal arrival rites held at the gigantic hotel-casino complex that will host his bold bid to get back at Bradley.
A professional since the age of 15, Pacquiao, who turns 36 in December, is sounding as if he is looking past Bradley by giving himself an additional two years of high-level fighting.
But Pacquiao remains wary of what Bradley, 30, will bring to the ring.
To get ready for the undefeated and much younger American foe, Pacquiao said he concentrated on becoming even more aggressive.
“We put a lot of work on being more aggressive during the fight, throwing more punches because that would be crucial if I want to win this fight,” said Pacquiao.
Pacquiao said that while he firmly believes that Bradley got away with a bum decision the last time they fought in June 2012, taking him for granted would be suicidal.
“He’s come a long way,” admitted Pacquiao, who even dropped a sixth-round knockout to Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez six months after the Bradley loss.
As Pacquiao took a nose-dive, Bradley racked up two tough wins, against Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia and Marquez.
Pacquiao rebounded from the Bradley debacle and resuscitated his career with an easy win over Brandon Rios in Macau last year, pushing him back to the spotlight.
As Pacquiao enters the homestretch of a legendary career, the fighting congressman from Sarangani said he would still be heavily involved in the fight game by way of his promotional arm.
“I’d be promoting fights and developing young fighters (when I leave boxing),” said Pacquiao.
But that’s not going to happen anytime soon, said Pacquiao.
Asked what he would if he loses to Bradley in their second meeting, Pacquiao said he is not giving it much thought.
“You don’t think negative. I always think positive. Winners don’t think about that (negative).”
On Saturday, Pacquiao said he will put a definitive closure to this episode with Bradley.
“This will be the final answer,” said Pacquiao.