Transcript: Media Interview with Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach
BOB ARUM: Good morning everyone, this fight has been eagerly anticipated, a lot has been written about it. The two fighters are extraordinarily dedicated to their profession. From everything I hear I think this is going to be a monumental fight and from talking to Freddie and Manny and from watching at the Wild Card that many will be 100% prepared and will give a vintage Manny Pacquiao performance on April 12.
FREDDIE ROACH: Training is going really well. The training in the Philippines went real well. Manny sparred quite a few rounds and just getting the work in. We have five different sparring partners and whatever Bradley brings to the table we will be ready for.
MANNY PACQUIAO: Good morning everyone and thanks for joining me on the call today. I would like to say that training is going very well and I’m sure you will see a good show on April 12.
Tim Bradley has been talking about the fact you may have lost your hunger and won’t be able to get it back…
MANNY PACQUIAO: Yes, I know. I assure you I still have the hunger to win and my desire to win is as strong now as it has ever been. His talk about me has inspired me. It has provided me great motivation in my training.
Do you still think about the decision versus Bradley and how do you feel about it?
FREDDIE ROACH: I don’t get mad. It’s part of life, winning and losing. Revenge is great and that’s what we have a chance to do here we get to reverse that bad decision and get the win here. Hopefully if everything goes well and we fight the right fight we will knock this guy out.
How do you feel about the first fight and do you need to change the strategy for this fight?
FREDDIE ROACH: The thing was it was so easy for Manny in the early rounds that in the later rounds he wasn’t throwing combinations like he usually does. He was just throwing single punches and kind of going through the motions. He thought we was very much ahead, of course, but we needed to be fighting aggressive three minutes of every round and if we fight at a fast pace like that we’ll be able to stop Bradley somewhere during the middle rounds along the way.
Manny, how do you feel when you look back on that fight?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I’m not angry after the decision. The officials did their best and no one is perfect in this world and sometimes they make mistakes. It’s part of boxing. I wasn’t really bothered about it after the fight. When I went home, most of the people were not negative – they were positive about the fight – most of them thought I won the fight.
Do you feel the need for a knockout to put the bad decision to rest?
MANNY PACQUIAO: We are not focusing on the knockout. We are focusing on being more aggressive and throwing a lot of punches – and if the knockout comes, it comes. I just want to prove that I can have the hunger that it takes to get the job done.
Is the tax situation a distraction?
MANNY PACQUIAO: About the tax situation, there is nothing for me to worry about because I did not hide anything. So I am not worried about that.
Have the actions in the Ukraine – specifically Klitschko finding out it is a lot more difficult than he thought, it being much tougher than boxing – deterred you in politics?
MANNY PACQUIAO: Politics is a lot different than boxing. It’s different than sports. Politics is about the nation and the people. There is no way to compare politics to boxing.
Bob, Manny still seems pretty calm about the decision, what do you think?
BOB ARUM: Manny is a pretty sensible guy. That decision was two years ago. You are not going to change the decision, you just go on with your life and you do the best you can in the fight that will take place on April 12. So why would you get worked up about a decision that took place two years ago. It was what it was and now you move on. Duane Ford is no longer judging. C.J. Ross retired in disgrace after another crazy decision and hopefully the Nevada commission will appoint judges from all over the world for this fight that will give a fair result if the fight doesn’t end in a knockout.
What have you learned from Bradley in his last two fights?
FREDDIE ROACH: Bradley is a very tough guy. He takes good shots. He has a good chin. He fought concussed against Ruslan and he didn’t know where he was – I don’t know if that’s a good think or a bad thing – I don’t know if that will show in this fight but if Manny puts enough pressure on him and land some hard shots it will affect him and I think it will be in our favor.
Because of the Bradley decision, do you think that Manny was being overly aggressive in the Marquez fight, which got the best of him?
FREDDIE ROACH: Well, the thing was he just stepped in a little too soon and he got caught and that’s par of boxing. The thing is, I’m not going to take his aggressiveness away from him and in his last fight he fought a very aggressive fight. He might have been able to finish him (Brandon Rios), he hurt him a couple of times but we didn’t jump in so quickly so we did learn some things from that fight. But we are going to fight our fight.
What about the judges for April 12?
BOB ARUM: I don’t know exactly when but we have circulated to both camps, a big list of proposed judges and given the camps the opportunity to knock off referees and judges and I have an 11:00 AM call, we have no Executive Director, so with the Chairman, Cisco Aguilar, to give him the results of the input from both camps and then I think the Commission has a meeting in early April where they will actually select the referee and judges.
Do you feel you have to go for a knockout?
FREDDIE ROACH: We don’t go into fights looking for knockouts, if you do that it’s not going to happen. Knockouts come with combinations – it’s a little bit of a bonus and the thing is we are going to fight this fight our way. We plan to beat him every round and if a knockout comes, it comes but we are not going in there looking for a knockout, because again, if you go in there looking for a knockout you’ll be waiting all night.
If you fight Bradley like you fought Clottey and Margarito with that game plan…
FREDDIE ROACH: No, because one bad decision doesn’t change everything in life and doesn’t change our game plan. We are going to fight that is similar to our last fight –stay very busy and throw combinations and in-and-out. We’ve got a good game plan and Manny’s doing very well with it. We are not going to make any adjustments as to who the judges are because that is out of our control.
How have the judges affected your ability to go in the ring and relax compared to how you fought when you lost that decision to Bradley?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I am not thinking about the judges. I always believe in the decisions of the judges. What I want to do is focus in the ring and focus on the strategy and techniques that we practice in the gym.
Does your religious beliefs affect your attitude in the ring?
MANNY PACQUIAO: No, the religion is a personal thing in my life and fighting in the ring, it’s boxing. It’s my profession. God always gives me strength. In the past I didn’t knock my opponent out – it’s competition – sometimes you knock the opponent out and sometimes you don’t. We cannot predict.
Freddie, do you believe Bradley is in the same class as Manny as a fighter?
FREDDIE ROACH: He is a very good fighter. He is tough and resilient. I don’t think he has all the abilities that Manny has but he is a solid fighter, yes.
Would you ever fight in New York?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I would love to fight in New York, yes. It depends on my promoter Bob Arum. I cannot dictate his strategy – he is the boss and he can talk about the promotion. Wherever the fight is, I will fight.
BOB ARUM: You have to understand that Manny is a foreign national and if he fights in New York he has to pay state tax, city tax, unincorporated tax which comes to fourteen percent. Because he is a foreign national he can’t take a credit for any of those taxes. So the penalty for fighting in New York, if Manny’s earnings are $20M, is as much as $3M. So the difference between fight in Nevada, which has no state taxes, and fighting in New York is $3M. Now it’s conceivable, if somebody is going to make up the difference that he could fight in New York. But why should it come out of his pocket. If someone would want him to fight in New York and change the ridiculously high taxes in New York, or they subsidize his tax bill in New York, that’s how I see it. Now Floyd Mayweather has the same problem – he lives in Nevada where there are no state taxes – so if he pays taxes in New York he doesn’t get a credit to his state taxes because he pays none in Nevada. So it’s well and good to say, why doesn’t he fight in New York, but it becomes a real problem. But if you’re Puerto Rican or Californian, you could fight in New York because California has a big state tax and you get a dollar for dollar credit against your state tax for the tax you paid in New York, and Puerto Rico is the same. This is not an easy situation. New York, as even the Governor Cuomo, has said, is chasing away a lot of business because of the tremendously high tax rates.
Do you feel Bradley is trying to get into your head by questioning your heart and desire in the ring?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I wouldn’t say that. The more he says it the more it inspires me to show the hunger and the killer instinct he is talking about. It’s good for me, but not for them, I think. I am not angry or disappointed about what he says to me but I’m happy that he has told me that because it inspires me to train hard and to focus in the gym on my game plan and focus on the fight. It is a benefit for me.
What do you think has changed in Bradley since you fought him and he has since won two big fights?
FREDDIE ROACH: He has always had a lot of heart. He’s just a very willing guy and he is in very good shape. For his fights he does what he is supposed to do. He boxed well against Marquez and he beat a good fighter. What he will bring to the table against Manny is what he brought against Marquez – he likes to exchange a little bit also, so when we get into an exchange we will have to take advantage of that moment.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I don’t think his style has changed. He has improved since our last fight. Against Tim Bradley I will fight my best and watch him when I get in there. I can match him in boxing skills or if he decides to go toe-to-toe. I am not worried about that because I know his style and I can adjust my style for any style that he may change.
Manny, have you watched the Bradley Marquez fight?
MANNY PACQUIAO: I have not watched the Bradley vs Marquez fight. I was not surprised that Bradley won and won by decision. That is what I had predicted. Bradley obviously fought the better fight and boxed Marquez. I assume Marquez just could not overcome Bradley’s skills and youth and there was no way Bradley was going to go toe-to-toe after his battle with Ruslan Provodnikov.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I do not think Bradley will fight toe-to-toe with me either, so I will have to hunt him down. I am prepared for that. I am not going for a knockout but if the opportunity presents itself, I am going to go for it this time. Bradley’s talk that I am no longer hungry has inspired me throughout this training camp. As Freddie Roach keeps saying every day in training, “No Mercy.”
BOB ARUM: I am really excited about this fight. Manny is coming win with a whole new attitude – you are going to see the best of Manny Pacquiao. And Tim Bradley is not the same Tim Bradley that fought Manny Pacquiao two years ago – he is a much more confident fight and he is used to the big stage – he is prepared to do a tremendous fight and those of us who saw him against Provodnikov and Marquez know what a complete fighter he is. So I am looking forward to April12, I think it will be a classic battle with a lot of fireworks and I think people will really enjoy the event.
MANNY PACQUIAO: I than everyone for giving me this chance and I thank my promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank and I would like to invite everybody to watch on April12. There is going to be a lot of boxing and it is going to be an historic fight. Thank you all so much for your support and prayer. God Bless.