MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr. had some interesting observations about Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao when the “Pacman” fought brawler Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in Macau last November.
Pacquiao dominated Rios for 12 rounds, but was not able to put the tough brawler away as the fight lasted the distance.
Speaking to Fight Hype, Bradley theorized that the reason Pacquiao could not knockout Rios was that the Filipino boxer lost his killer instinct and had some lingering fears, especially after having been knocked out in his previous fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
“He doesn’t have that killer instinct. Yeah, he didn’t have that killer instinct in that Rios fight,” said Bradley. “I think it was because Rios has that power, so he’s a little scared of that power, man.”
Rios is known for his concussive power, but Pacquiao was able to withstand the few punches that the American landed.
Still, Bradley observed that Pacquiao did not actively seek the knockout and did not engage Rios more than necessary.
“There were times where he probably could have finished Rios, or attempt to, and he played it safe,” he pointed out, adding that Pacquiao’s newfound reluctance will work in his favor when they face off in a rematch on April 12.
“I think he might not want to engage too much with me,” Bradley said. “I know I’m not a Rios-type puncher, but I know in that first fight, he was real defensive for some reason. He was defensive.”
“Yeah, when you go back and watch that fight and you see how defensive that guy was fighting me – he was defensive, dude. He only worked like maybe a minute in every round,” he claimed. “He was putting his hands up most of the time, trying to block shots and get out of the way.”
“This time around, I don’t think he’s gonna engage that much, man.”
Bradley believes that the memory of his knockout at Marquez’s hands, as well as of Rios’ power, will end up hindering Pacquiao in their rematch.
“He got hurt; he admitted that Rios hurt him with a shot, so, you know, like I said, I’m not a Rios puncher, but I got a punch,” he said.
Bradley has a record of 31 wins with no loss and one no contest. He has only won 12 fights via knockout, the most recent coming in November 2011 when he defeated Joel Casamayor via technical knockout.