CELEBRATED 2013 Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach told Fighter of the Decade and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao that he needs a knockout when he faces undefeated World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 12.
Realizing that Pacquiao’s last stoppage was in the 12th round against Miguel Cotto in 2009, Roach has discussed the need to bring back the killer instinct, which has diminished and clearly affected the Filipino southpaw’s drawing power, as evidenced by the dwindling pay-per-view numbers.
Boxingscene’s Keith Idec quoted Roach who said: “We need a knockout real soon. I’ll be pushing for it.”
In fact, Pacquiao himself agreed with Bradley’s claim that he had lost his former ferocious style and killer instinct that sent his popularity and his PPV numbers soaring.
There are many, who believe that Pacquiao’s immersion into reading the Bible and preaching regularly has tamed his aggressive instincts and further strengthened his compassion for opponents in the ring.
Roach said in the first fight with Bradley that Pacquaio could have knocked out the American, but didn’t and that cost him his title in a horrendous split-decision loss in June 2012, that was universally criticized.
“When Manny hurt Bradley the first time, he didn’t bother to finish him and thought it was enough to win a decision. I disagree with that. That’s why the paydays are less and the pay-per-view [buys] are less. I told Manny, ‘You tell me you want to give people what they want. They want knockouts,’” Roach said.
But Top Rank promoter Bob Arum believes getting a knockout against Bradley won’t be that easy.
He told the Manila Standard on Friday: “Bradley is a helluva better fighter than when Manny fought him the first time and Manny is going to have to fight a really good, smart aggressive, intelligent fight. He’s got to go in, land his punches and get out before he (Bradley) catches him. Pacquiao has got to fight the way he fought Oscar De La Hoya and (Brandon) Rios.”
Last Nov. 24 in Macau, Pacquiao put on a clinical, skillful performance to win a near shutout 12-round decision to capture the WBO Intercontinental 147-pound belt.
Pacquiao returns to Manila on Sunday and will almost immediately plunge into training.