LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao the boxer is an entirely different animal from Manny Pacquiao the preacher.
That was the assurance the Filipino boxing icon gave as he held court before dozens of journalists on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) at the MGM Grand, four days before his title showdown with American Tim Bradley.
While he may have been constantly preaching the word of God during his time away from training, Pacquiao said he won’t forget his responsibility as a boxer inside the ring, which was to beat the other guy up and entertain fight fans.
“When I step inside the ring, I change the mode. I switch the button,” said Pacquiao chuckling. “We have a job to do in the ring. That’s our profession, and part of our profession is to do our job in the ring. After that, nothing personal.”
Pacquiao, 33, admitted the pressure is on him to deliver an impressive performance against challenger Bradley, given his lackluster showing against Juan Manuel Marquez in his previous outing last November.
The world welterweight champion also admitted he underestimated Marquez in the third installment of their trilogy.
“It just so happened that we underestimated Marquez. I’ve been fighting 151-, 147-pound guys or those guys the same size as me, and Marquez was coming two weights up,” Pacquiao recalled.
He won’t be making the same mistake against Bradley, Pacquiao swore.
“I’m focused for this fight. I was happy in training, Freddie (Roach) knows that,” he stressed. “I have peace of mind now, focused on everything, no distractions or whatever. I’m very confident. I feel ok. I have to give people a good show.”
That seems to be Pacquiao the boxer talking.