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Pacquiao banks on experience

Boxer Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, talks during a news conference in Las Vegas, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are scheduled to fight May 2. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LAS VEGAS – Experience gained the last few years will propel Manny Pacquiao past Floyd Mayweather this Saturday night, the Filipino fighter said on Monday during a closed door Q&A with print writers at the Mandalay Bay.

Saying he hasn’t changed since making his US debut 14 years ago, Pacquiao said experience coupled with his speed and power will make a big difference in his quest to inflict Mayweather his first loss in 48 fights.

“I am different from the 47 he’s fought and I think I am faster than them and I am confident,” Pacquiao said after gracing a rally cum arrival rites at the ballroom of the Mandalay Bay, the event complete with cultural dance and oozing with Filipiniana flair.

“This is the moment he will experience a loss,” said Pacquiao, 36, who is a slim 2-1 underdog in the world welterweight unification fight at the MGM Grand.

While Pacquiao swears that he has nothing personal against Mayweather, the underdog stressed that they have an obligation to the boxing fans to provide a fight worthy of the hype surrounding their rivalry.

“We have to prove something to the fans,” he said.

Pacquiao, who trained almost exclusively under wraps in Los Angeles for two months, thinks Mayweather, 38, doesn’t rank among the toughest he has fought before.

“I can’t say he’s the most dangerous because I have also fought (more dangerous fighters) like Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto.”

Trainer Freddie Roach, who has been calling the shots in the corner the last 14 years, says he has Mayweather all figured out and “Pacquiao is ready to go 12 hard rounds” if needed.

“Manny won’t fall into traps and he knows when he sees one and he will never fall into that,” said the 55-year-old Roach.

With Mayweather becoming more and more flat-footed each passing fight, Roach sees that as an opportunity to soften him up for the kill.