Antonio Margarito came out being cocky, and he got beat up. Brandon Rios did the same, and he was pummeled. Adrien Broner had some harsh words to say, too, and he paid for it big time.
When fighters disrespect Manny Pacquiao and make their thoughts known, the Filipino world champion sends a message back inside the ring and makes them eat their words.
“He’s so focused. He turns all the trash talking into motivation,” fight journalist Nissi Icasiano said.
“It was very evident in the past, that the more that you trash-talk, the more he talks with his fists. It motivates Manny Pacquiao.”
For boxing referee Danrex Tapdasan, Pacquiao has simply taken it upon himself to look past the verbal fireworks and be above the noise.
“That is a sign of maturity of Manny Pacquiao,” Tapdasan said.
“Hindi siya naapektuhan ng trash talking. ’Pag immature ang boxer when they are being trash-talked they are affected. ’Pag ikaw ay nakipag-away at mainit ang ulo, talo ka na. Kasi galit ka, wala ang focus mo, hindi ka thinking fighter.”
Tapdasan said this was evident during his fight against Rios, who get beat by a mile wide decision.
“Brandon Rios trash-talked him, pero nu’ng lumaban sila, (Pacquiao) was very smart. Hindi niya pinilit ang knockout. Maingat siya. Hindi affected ng trash talking,” said Tapdasan.
“Trash talking kasi is used as a bait by fighters, ’pag uminit ang ulo ng fighter disadvantage na ’yon sa kanya.”
Pacquiao’s next opponent appears to have the same level of arrogance as some of the Filipino champ’s past rivals.
And to a certain extent, it seems like Keith Thurman has gotten under Pacquiao’s skin with his repeated pronouncements that he would retire Pacquiao.
Pacquiao promised that after their world welterweight title fight in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 21 (Manila time), he would make Thurman respect him.
Boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said it’s all part of Thurman’s effort to sell the fight and be taken seriously.
“There are some people who believe he was not really seriously injured when he was inactive, that he simply lost his hunger for boxing. Thurman is now talking tough because he most likely feels he is not taken seriously, that people think he is just fighting Pacquiao for the money,” Tolentino said.
“So he is insulting Pacquiao to sell the fight, but he is also talking tough because it is also a shout-out of some sort to boxing fans, to tell them that he really means business and is not just going to take the money and run against Pacquiao.”
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)