Pacquiao will go for KO if available
HOLLYWOOD — A convincing win will be enough, but Manny Pacquiao also intends to pursue a knockout of Timothy Bradley.
“What is in my heart and mind right now is to win convincingly, and if I have the chance to finish him, why not?” Pacquiao told the media Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) at Wild Card Gym here.
From the way he pounded the heavy bag with impunity on Wednesday’s workout, it was evident that the eight-division world champion has ‘bad intentions’ of cutting short Pacquiao-Bradley III set on April 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao doesn’t personally hate Bradley, who was rewarded with a victory by incompetent judges in their first encounter in 2012, but there are compelling reasons for the Sarangani representative to prevail impressively.
First, he wants to leave the ring with a bang.
The last time Pacquiao scored a stoppage was seven years ago at the expense of Miguel Cotto and it would be fitting for the reigning Fighter of the Decade to seal his career with a knockout of Bradley, whom he even failed to knock down in their previous 24 rounds of battle.
Second, a victory will propel his bid for a seat in the Philippine senate.
Though Pacquiao insisted that he’s retiring after the pay-per-view bout, Top Rank honcho Bob Arum believes there’s a chance that Pacquiao will still change his mind and make a comeback as many great fighters do.
That’s because a lopsided triumph over Bradley, whom he clearly beat in their 2014 rematch, will put Pacquiao in position for a megabuck bout before the year ends.
Prominently mentioned by the 84-year-old Arum were World Boxing Council middleweight titlist Canelo Alvarez and World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
Arum, who just arrived from Toronto, where he was honored for his 50 years of service and contributions to boxing, particularly the Muhammad Ali-George Chuvalo fight held in the Canadian city, said Alvarez is the biggest fight out there for Pacquiao.
Asked if the wear and tear of two decades of fighting have taken their toll, Pacquiao said he has learned to listen to what his body dictates and still has some gas left in his tank.
“When you get old, your mind and body is there, but you need more time to recover. Unlike when you were younger and after one night you can recover all the energy you spend in training,” Pacquiao said.
“The willingness to still train is there. With enough rest, I make sure the body can recover. I’ve always taken care of my body I can still prove I’m not old.”
A knockout, of course, will be an irrefutable proof.