MANILA, Philippines – Has Manny Pacquiao lost his killer instinct?
Timothy Bradley thinks so, and believes it will serve him in good stead when they clash anew for the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown on April 12 in Las Vegas.
“He (Pacquiao) doesn’t have that killer instinct,” Bradley told fighthype.com. Sunday.
“Yeah, he didn’t have that killer instinct in that (Brandon) Rios fight.”
Bradley was referring to the Filipino ring superstar’s 12-round domination of Rios last Nov. 24 in Macau.
Though Pacquiao won lopsidedly, Bradley felt there were instances when the Fighter of the Decade could’ve finished off Rios, but didn’t do so.
Instead, he said, Pacquiao chose to play it safe and coasted to victory.
Bradley said he believed that Pacquiao was a “little scared” of Rios’ punching power.
The undefeated American noted that Pacquiao’s reluctance to mix it up will work to his advantage when he dangles the title he wrested from the Filipino by a widely disputed split decision on June 9, 2012.
According to Bradley, he will legitimize that victory by beating Pacquiao convincingly this time.
Having repeatedly watched the tapes of their first encounter, Bradley said that though he isn’t a power puncher in the mold of Rios, he was able to hurt Pacquiao that time.
Bradley also noted that Pacquiao turned defensive in that first fight and “only worked like, maybe, a minute in every round.”
Bradley, who bolstered his stock with victories over Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez, respectively, said he expects Pacquiao to be on the defensive in their rematch.
“I don’t think he’s going to engage that much, man,” said Bradley.
Boxing pundits have actually noticed Pacquiao’s diminished finishing kick in his fights since 2010.
They felt that Pacquiao was in a position to stop Antonio Margarito in 2010, Shane Mosley in 2012 and Bradley, but did not go for the kill.