Pacquiao: Losing made me a better fighter | Inquirer Sports

Pacquiao: Losing made me a better fighter

/ 04:33 AM March 13, 2015

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 Video by Tyler Cook/INQUIRER.net contributor

LOS ANGELES—The unbeaten Floyd Mayweather taunted Manny Pacquiao at a press conference here (Thursday in Manila) that kicked off their May 2 megafight in Las Vegas. “You lose, it stays in your mind,” he said.

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But for Pacquiao, losing was not a disadvantage. “I learned from my losses,” Pacquiao said in a Q&A session with a group of selected journalists prior to the main media event at the Nokia Theatre in downtown LA. “I got discouraged (but) it’s part of boxing. Losing made me a better fighter.”

Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao AFP FILE PHOTO

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao AFP FILE PHOTO

Pacquiao was referring to his devastating loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked him out in the sixth round of their 2012 welterweight fight in Las Vegas. It was a second successive defeat for Pacquiao after a controversial loss to Timothy Bradley earlier that year.

READ: Nation stunned as Pacquiao knocked out

Mayweather has remained undefeated, 47-0, in an 18-year career, while Pacquiao has bounced back with three straight wins since his loss to Marquez.

Pacquiao also said he liked his role as the underdog. “(Being the underdog) gives me more motivation, determination and focus,” he said.

Pacquiao and Mayweather joined their promoters and trainers at a Red Carpet press conference that resembled a movie premiere. More than 700 members of the media came to the launch of what promoters described as the biggest fight in boxing history.

READ: Pacquiao, Mayweather face off in press con

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Pacquiao arrived first as AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” boomed in the background. Then Mayweather made his grand entrance to the stomping-clapping beat of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

“This is an unbelievable matchup,” Mayweather said. “I’ve never wanted to win a fight so bad in my life.”

“I believe this is what you are waiting for since five years ago,” Pacquiao said. “The fight is on, and we’re very excited. Both of us will undergo hard training and we will do our best on May 2 to make you happy.”

“This is the biggest challenge of my life. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long, long time,” said Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. “We’re fighting the best fighter in the world, but we’re gonna kick his ass.”

The appearance of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, a friend of Mayweather, on stage as cameras captured the last moments of the press conference raised some eyebrows. A member of the media shouted, “Who’s that girl?”

A few years ago, Bieber had been threatened with a ban from entering the Philippines after making fun of Pacquiao’s knock-out loss to Marquez on Instagram.

READ: Lawmakers want to ban Bieber for insulting Pacquiao

As the press conference took place inside the Nokia Theater, a large crowd of boxing fans waited outside hoping to catch a glimpse of Pacquiao.

Sean Watkins, a 27-year-old African American, expressed his great admiration for Pacquiao.

“(Pacquiao) is better prepared and has been through harder tribulations,” Watkins said. “He is less distracted and more ready for the fight.”

Watkins described Mayweather as an excellent boxer who has had a great career, but had “a lot of distractions,” citing his relationship and legal issues.

Francisco Avila, a 24-year-old college student of Mexican descent, said he rooted for Pacquiao’s Mexican opponents but he’s now on Pacquiao’s side.

“I think he has taken a lot of risks in his career … more risks than Mayweather” said Avila, who also conceded that Mayweather “has got a great defense.”

He plans to see the fight via pay-per-view since he can’t afford to go to Las Vegas.

Tickets will range in price from $1,500 to $7,500, according to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe.

Promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc., the pay-per-view telecast of the megafight will be coproduced and codistributed by HBO and Showtime Pay-Per-View on Saturday, May 2, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Originally posted as of 5:14 PM | Thursday, March 12, 2015

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