HOLLYWOOD—The glow on his face, the spring in his legs, and the sting of his punches are back—tell-tale signs that Manny Pacquiao is feeling young once again.
“I’m still thinking I’m 25, 26 years old,” declared a smiling Pacquiao, who’s actually 33, before a throng of media at the Wild Card Gym here Wednesday afternoon (Thursday in Manila) to watch him work out with trainer Freddie Roach.
Beneath Pacquiao’s relax appearance, however, is a fighter determined to woo back doubters unimpressed with his close majority decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
“It (an impressive victory) is really important because, of course, everybody knows my last fight was very close,” said Pacquiao, who slowly circled the ring to answer questions in Filipino, English and Spanish.
“With God’s grace and strength I will win the fight (against Timothy Bradley on June 9),” said Pacquiao, who refused to predict a knockout. “It’s God’s will (if it comes).”
Roach, however, believes a knockout is looming when Pacquiao defends his WBO welterweight crown against Bradley.
“Somewhere along the way the knockout will come,” said Roach, who belittled Bradley’s prediction of a knockout victory.
“He’s never been a puncher and he’ll never be one,” Roach said. “Punchers are born not made.”
“He (Bradley) is so slow and Manny is so fast, it’s going to be like night and day,” added Roach.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum also revealed that ticket sales for the bout are “really rolling” and are “going through the roof.”
The 80-year-old Arum, already in boxing’s Hall of Fame, said out of 16,000 tickets only 1,500 are left.