Manny Pacquiao inspired by Tim Bradley’s questioning of resolve


Although Freddie Roach believes Tim Bradley has improved as an overall fighter since June 2012, when his split decision victory dethroned Manny Pacquiao as WBO 147-pound beltholder, the trainer hopes "to take advantage of that moment" when Bradley chooses to stand and exchange with Pacquiao in their rematch on April 12.

In his past three fights, Bradley defeated Pacquiao, rose from a 12th-round knockdown to unanimously decision Ruslan Provodnikov in March 2013 and then won a split decision over four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez in October.

"Bradley does what he's supposed to do. He boxed well against Marquez and he beat a good fighter, so what will he bring to the table against Manny?" asked Roach during a Tuesday conference call.

"I think that he'll bring little bit of the Marquez fight and I think that he'll exchange a little bit also, so when we exchange with him, we'll try to take advantage of that moment."

Pacquiao lost his next bout after Bradley in December 2012 by sixth-round stoppage to Marquez, against whom Pacquiao is 2-1-1, before winning a unanimous decision over Brandon Rios in his most recent fight in November.

Roach said Pacquiao, like Bradley, could display his boxing ability with an emphasis on power.

"Against Marquez, Manny stepped in too soon and we got caught and that's part of boxing. I'm not going to take his aggressiveness away from him. The last fight against Rios, Manny fought a very smart fight, and he might have been able to finish him," said Roach.

"Manny hurt Rios a couple of times but we didn't jump in so quickly. We did learn something from that fight. We're going to fight our fight…if Manny puts pressure on Bradley and hits him with those hard shots, then it will affect him and it will be in our favor."

Meanwhile, Bradley has continued to question the resolve of Pacquiao, who turned 35 in December. Bradley's most recent assertion came during last Saturday night's 15-minute HBO premiere of Face Off with Max Kellerman, doing so while looking directly into Pacquiao's eyes.

"That hunger that he's looking for, it's no longer there. It's no longer there and he can't get it back. It's gone. It's gone. It is, Manny. It's gone. Manny, you can't even sit here and say certain things that you would like to say because of what you believe in. It's not there anymore. I truly believe that. It's not there…the killer instinct. That's what I'm saying," said Bradley.

"I don't know how he lost it. Before, he was malicious. Before, he was blazing, like, 'I'm going to knock you out; I don't care.' But now, he's in a different place now. I'm telling you, he's not the same. He's not the same. I'm telling you. He's a tremendous fighter, like I've told you. He's a tremendous fighter but I don't see it. I do not see it."

During Tuesday's call, Pacquiao said Bradley's questions only motivate him.

"It inspires me. It's good for me and not for them, I think. I'm not angry or disappointed about what he's told me," said Pacquiao, "but I'm happy because he told me that. It will inspire me to train hard and focus on my game plan and to focus for the fight. It will be a benefit to me."

The WBO has declared that the winner of Bradley-Pacquiao II must face that between Marquez and Mike Alvarado, who will fight on May 17.