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LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao insists he continues to enjoy training and that while he is in the twilight of a Hall of Fame career, he relishes working out, especially if it is like the one he is getting ready for this Saturday.
“Most boxers who say it’s their last fight, they are lazy to train,” said the 37-year-old Pacquiao (57-6-2 with 38 KOs) on Wednesday.
But that’s not the case with Pacquiao, who meets Tim Bradley (33-1-1 with 13 KOs) on Saturday night in a welterweight war at the MGM Grand.
“It’s different for me. Because this is important for me to win convincingly,” said Pacquiao. “This will be part of my legacy. I love to fight and I love to win.”
The long layoff, brought about by a right rotator cuff injury, even made Pacquiao crave for the action that he missed for almost a year.
“I still have my killer instinct and it’s good that I got to rest for one year and I feel fresh and new. I feel now that I am just starting in boxing and it’s like this will be my first fight here (in the US).”
The 32-year-old Bradley, apparently, knows Pacquiao is not the kind of guy who is just out to get his check.
“He (Pacquiao) wants to go out on a high, riding in a carriage with white horses, with his love right next to him and just cruise down the boardwalk or into the wilderness.”
Bradley could indeed be spot on in his assessment of the situation.
Pacquiao maintains that he went full blast during the eight-week buildup that kicked off in the Philippines and is aiming to score “a convincing victory.”
Trainer Freddie Roach, in his 15th year as Pacquiao’s trainer, says the Filipino “worked a bit harder this time,” knowing probably that this could be his final fight.
“So, when Manny said that this will be his last, I told him that we should go out with a bang.”
The two have split their first two matches: Bradley being given a gift (split decision) in 2012 and Pacquiao exacting payback (unanimous decision) in 2014.
So, why was there a need for a third bout when Pacquiao had also clearly won the initial meeting?
“Many questions will be answered in this fight and this fight will be a part of my legacy,” said Pacquiao, who was friendly with Bradley during the press conference.
Told about it, Top Rank head Bob Arum wasn’t alarmed, assuring everyone that all the niceties go out the window when the bell rings.
“They are two remarkable athletes and professionals that they don’t need trash talk to sell this fight.”
“Any type of violence should manifest in the ring,” said Arum.