Kieran Mulvaney was on the scene yesterday for HBO as Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley staged their official arrival event at the MGM Grand, and spoke with fans as well as Bradley, Freddie Roach, and Manny. Pacquiao and Bradley meet on Saturday night, live on HBO pay-per-view.
Most fans shown here are picking Pacquiao, many of them feeling that this is a mere tune-up for Manny. It makes one wonder why they would pay all this money to go out to Vegas for fight week if they see it so one-sided. But that's just what some boxing fans do. It's a love affair, really.
Bradley says he's motivated by the naysayers:
"Every little thing motivates me, negatively. If you talk about me, definitely I'll set out to prove you wrong. Everybody can say whatever they want, but I'm out there to prove I'm a better fighter than Manny Pacquiao. I wanna get rid of this guy. I'm definitely going in there trying to knock this guy out."
The real money quote comes from Freddie Roach:
"Who's he ever knocked out? Like, come on. He knocked out a couple stiffs. He can't punch. All that muscle, and he can't punch. Give me a fucking break."
Asked if there's anything about Bradley that does concern Team Pacquiao, Roach was again blunt:
"No, nothing. We have no worries about this guy at all. The more he comes, the more he'll get hit. ... (His aggression) does play into Manny's hands. The biggest weapon he has is his forehead. That's his best punch and that's what we have to watch out for. ... We will knock him out. ... It could be early or late, 'cause he's gonna force the action, so it could be early, yes."
Manny added this:
"I feel so happy. I'm excited for the fight. Especially because a lot of people are coming here to show their support for me. ... I'm not taking Bradley lightly. I consider this fight as one of the hardest fights (for me). In Jesus name, I work hard, and everything will be fine. ... This training camp is different. Very focused. I have discipline, I'm happy, and especially (because) my family's with me."
Manny Being Manny.