MANILA, Philippines – Undefeated boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. expects to face a "vicious" Manny Pacquiao in their rematch for the WBO welterweight belt on April 12 in Las Vegas.
In a conference call on Saturday, Bradley expressed his belief that the repeated barbs he sent Pacquiao’s way has angered the Filipino idol.
“Pacquiao is going to be vicious. I think I pissed him off,” Bradley said. “I got under his skin by saying that he lost it.”
Bradley has repeatedly accused Pacquiao of losing the hunger and killer instinct that made him, at one point, the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
“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.”
Even as he acknowledged “pissing off” Pacquiao, Bradley could not resist firing more verbal salvos at the way of the “Pacman.”
“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.
Pacquiao had snapped a two-fight losing streak in November 2013 with a dominant performance against Rios in Macau, but failed to knock out the tough Mexican-American.
“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 said.
“It was unbelievable to me,” he added.
Bradley also pointed out that when he and Pacquiao first fought, in June 2012, he injured his feet in the fourth round, yet the “Pacman” could not knock him out then.
“What makes you think he can take me out with two good feet?” Bradley said.
“Manny Pacquiao used to come in blazing and knock guys out – just knock them out, and he didn’t mess around,” he added. “Now, it looks like he is more compassionate towards his opponents. That’s not good for boxing.”