Undefeated American welterweight Tim Bradley has been taunting Manny Pacquiao ever since the official announcement of their WBO welterweight rematch on April 12 at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bradley admitted that he might have gotten Pacquiao under his skin, and his jeers could have ignited the fire inside the former pound-for-pound champion. Apparently, everything is going smoothly according to his plan.
In a conference call on Saturday, Bradley said he's anticipating his second duel with Pacquiao to be a lot rougher than the last time, as he expects the Filipino champ to go all-out this time around.
"Pacquiao is going to be vicious. I think I pissed him off," Bradley said via ABS-CBN News. "I got under his skin by saying that he lost it."
"He's been training hard, and I heard throughout the grapevine he has been looking sharp, and that's his job," said Bradley. "He needs to be at his very best. And I have been working hard, too, so we can put on a show for the fans, and that's what it's all about."
Bradley, who accused Pacquiao of losing the killer instinct that made him the unstoppable force in boxing in the late 2000s, fired more shots towards Pacquiao. He believed that Pacquiao's compassion towards Brandon Rios in November is a big sign that the Filipino fighter is no longer the same brutal brawler he knew few years ago.
"Well, when was the last time you saw him knock somebody out? It's been a long time. Then he had a guy sitting in front of him, he was a tough guy - Brandon Rios - but he was right there in front of him and he couldn't get rid of him," Bradley said in the conference call.
"He (Pacquiao) is supposed to be one of the vicious punchers in the game. I have never seen Manny Pacquiao take a step back before - I think it was the last round of the Rios fight, and he had Rios trapped in the corner, and you saw Manny take his foot off the gas pedal." Bradley.
Setting a Trap for Knockout
Being aggressive is good, while over-aggressive is not. Bradley is a smart fighter who seems to have mastered the art of sports psychology. The American's continuous verbal battery on Pacquiao might have indeed irritated Pacquiao, but it's a good thing for him. He knows that the more aggressive Pacquiao will be in their match, the more he will have the chance to unload his counter-punches and demoralise his opponent's gameplan.
Like what happened in his last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao has the tendency to loss focus when asserting his anger in the ring. More often, this could lead to fatal ending - like a sixth round TKO loss to the Mexican.