Former boxing star Kostya Tszyu said Manny Pacquiao may have already lost his hunger and motivation due to his success in boxing.
Tszyu, who dominated the junior welterweight ranks in the late 1990s, said a decline in motivation is inevitable among boxers who have already achieved everything in their career.
“I lost my hunger in the last couple of weeks of my fights because when you achieve everything in sports, it’s so hard to push yourself over and over the limit,” Tszyu said in an interview with On The Ropes Boxing Radio.
He said the hunger factor is an important ingredient in boxing because it pushes a fighter to train past his limits. And if a boxer isn’t well-trained, he will pay dearly, especially against an elite enemy.
“When I see the interview between the two guys, I agree with what Timothy (Bradley) said that Manny Pacquiao is not hungry anymore. You can’t be on top of your game if you’re not hungry anymore,” said Tszyu, referring to the HBO Face Off between Pacquiao and Bradley.
Pacquiao will attempt to get back the WBO welterweight title from Bradley when they collide in a rematch on April 12.
Tszyu said the Filipino could use his previous loss to Bradley as a motivation to win. "Timothy is still a young fighter and still got lots of goals ahead of him and for Manny there’s just one thing, to prove that he’s the best, only one," he said.
Tszyu was the first champion to unify the IBF, WBC and WBA titles in over 30 years. He went to semi-retirement in 2005 after being stopped by then-rising star Ricky Hatton.