‘Bradley won’t be my last fight’ — Pacquiao
BEVERLY HILLS—Manny Pacquiao quickly dispelled the rumor floating around that his fight against Timothy Bradley would be his last.
“Definitely, this won’t be my last fight,” Pacquiao said to the Asian Journal. “Maybe one more. After this fight I will think about (possible retirement).”
The world pound-for-pound No. 1 boxer Pacquiao and the undefeated Bradley kicked off the first of their two city promotion in Beverly Hills on Tuesday for their upcoming June 9 bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The two will meet again in New York on Wednesday, before going their separate ways for training camp.
Leading up to the press conference, there were a lot of rumors and talk from the Philippines that this would be the Filipino champion’s last fight, after he had an epiphany and renewed his faith in God.
“If I had died last year or in the last two years, I’m sure I would have gone straight to hell,” Pacquiao said in an interview on ABS-CBN News. “My faith in Him was there 100 percent but behind it, after prayers, I would still do evil things.”
Pacquiao said he now spends his free time reading and studying the bible. He is also spending more time with his family.
“He has really changed his way of living and he’s much happier now,” said Michael Koncz, Pacquaio’s closest advisor.
“There were a lot of personal issues in the last fight that he had to go through. He’s stopped gambling and the kids and Jinkee love that he’s spending more time with the family.”
Pacquiao said the epiphany came after his fight and near loss with Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao said God visited him in a dream and spoke to him about his wayward ways. He awoke from that dream crying and decided to go back and relearn God’s word.
Pacquiao had also begun questioning how he could be a messenger of God, while also being a boxer, promoting violence.
This conflict of interest pained him but he said he realized God is the reason why he is a boxer and he could use his status to spread God’s message.
“God told me I should share his commandments, and share my word to all of my fans,” he said.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said he’s concerned that come the night of the fight Pacquiao might take it easy on Bradley and be “too compassionate” inside the ring.
“It’s my job to motivate him,” said Roach. “It’s great that he’s following God but I don’t want him to be too compassionate. I want him to knock out Bradley.”
Roach said Bradley (28-0 12kos) is a very good opponent and not to be underestimated.
“He’s a tough guy,” said Roach about Bradley. “He’s not the type of guy who is going to be your friend inside the ring. He wants to win.”
Many are wondering how Pacquiao is going to rebound from his controversial last match against Marquez, who gave him fits all night long.
Roach said for this fight, Pacquiao will need to fight perfectly.
“Bradley is going to be motivated,” he said. “This is not an easy fight. Manny has to fight the perfect fight to win. Manny had his worst performance in 10 years against Marquez in his last fight. We have to go in the ring and execute. I still predict Manny will win impressively.”
Be the best
For Bradley, he said: “In order to be the best, you have to beat the best and right now, Pacquiao is the king of the ring.”
Bradley wants so badly to dethrone Pacquiao and finally become a household name.
“That’s my goal,” he said. “I’m so determined to be No. 1.”
Though many fans and some experts believe, he shouldn’t be fighting against Pacquiao, Bradley said he deserves this shot.
“I’ve gone through a lot in my career,” he said.
“I deserve this opportunity. I’m undefeated. I’ve outworked and beat everybody in front of me. On June 9, pulling off an upset victory against Manny Pacquiao, the best fighter in the world, certainly will give me the respect I deserve.” Joseph Pimentel, AJPress
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