When Manny Pacquiao enters the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for Saturday's rematch with Tim Bradley, the eight-division titlewinner admits that while his primary goal may be to win by stoppage, in the back of his mind, he will be wary that he instead could wind up being the fighter knocked unconcious.
After being dethoned as WBO welterweight beltholder following a split-decision to Bradley in June 2012, Pacquiao was left lying on the canvas, face-first, after being knocked cold following a sixth-round stoppage loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012.
"For me, it's in my mind, you know, the percentage in my mind to knock my opponent out and to prove that I can continue my journey is higher than to fight and to finish the whole 12 rounds. But I'm going to tell you that I'm 100 percent focused on that because, to me, my style in the ring can be really careless. I don't want to do that, to become careless in the ring, and then, because again, what happened when I fought Marquez," said Pacquiao, during a Tuesday interview with reporters at the MGM Grand.
"Because in the Marquez fight, you know, I was about to finish him. If you watch the replay, in five rounds or six rounds, I'm about to finish him. If he didn't get me in the six rounds, then by the seventh round, then I was going to finish him. But because of being careless, that's what happened. I'm not upset. That is part of boxing. I give it a certain percentage on being focused and not 100 percent being focused to knock your opponent out."
With Pacquiao lying motionless in the ring against Marquez, his wife, Jinkee sobbed uncontrollably at ringside, where she had to be comforted by Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum, among others.
Pacquiao said it took some time for Jinkee to be convinced that he was okay to return to the ring, which he did by carefully outboxing Brandon Rios for a unanimous decision in November.
"She, of course, was crying and later on, she understood. She understands what happened. I explained it to her that that's boxing. Sometimes, you're on the winning side and sometimes, you're on the losing side. We talked about it," said Pacquiao.
"She asked me about the feeling and about my body. She asked if something was wrong and if I felt something in my body where I should hang up my gloves and retire. But I told her, 'No, I'm okay; I can still fight.' If I feel something in my body, then I will tell her and I will hang up my gloves and retire."
Bradley's last three fights were the win over Pacquiao, a unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov in March during which he rose from a 12th-round knockdown and a split decision win over Marquez in October.
"Marquez is a counterpuncher and Bradley, his style is hard to explain. His style is a big difference from Marquez," said Pacquiao, but we know Bradley's toughness in the ring and he proved that in his last two fights with Marquez and Ruslan."