When Timothy Bradley boldly questioned Manny Pacquiao's desire to fight and hunger to be the fighter he used to be on HBO's Face Off with Max Kellerman for their April 12 fight, it seemed the usual trash talk before any fight. But Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, says it's more than that, and that despite the smiles, Pacquiao is bothered by the comments.
"It bothers Manny, I think more than Manny lets us know," Roach said at yesterday's media workout. "The first thing he told me, he said, 'Do you believe what he said to me?' Then he repeated it word-for-word. I said, 'Well, Manny, now you have to prove to the world that it's not true.' I think it motivated Manny for this fight. I think when Manny hurts him this time, he will open up and try to finish him."
Roach says that Bradley's personality "turn" caught Pacquiao by surprise, as Manny had always thought of Bradley as a "good guy."
"They'd been real respectful with each other all the time, and all of a sudden the guy throws this stuff out there, and just, like, right to Manny's face," Roach said. "It was like a slap in the face to Manny. Manny thought he was a good guy, and didn't talk trash and wished everyone good luck, but now he's talking a lot, and payback's a bitch."
Check out the video at the top of this post for Roach's full comments.