Manny Pacquiao: ‘People said that my career was done. But I never got discouraged’

Manny Pacquiao
Chris Farina/Mayweather Promotions
Manny Pacquiao contemplates his first fight as a 40-year-old, writes John Dennen

FILIPINO legend, and WBA regular titlist, Manny Pacquiao met Adrien Broner for the final press conference ahead of their fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday (January 19).

“The knockout in my last fight [against Lucas Matthysse] felt good. It felt like my younger days against Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and others. That fight was a big challenge for me to recover from the fight against Jeff Horn. People said that my career was done. But I never got discouraged, I just worked hard and made the knockout against Lucas Matthysse happen,” Pacquiao said. “People writing me off after the Jeff Horn fight was good for me. I’m not mad at anyone who thought that. It just became a challenge and a test to me of whether or not I could still show my best.”

Broner has been predicting a knockout victory for himself. But Manny warned, “I know he is going to counter me but we’re ready for that. What happened in the Juan Manuel Marquez fight will not happen again. It was a mistake and I learned that mistake. We’ve worked on that in this training camp. I am prepared for Broner’s style.

“This is a challenge because it is my first fight as a 40-year-old. I have something to prove to everyone about what that means. Age is just a number. What matters is how you prepare and that you’re working hard.”

Manny Pacquiao

In fact Pacquiao wants to score a knockout of his own. “I don’t need to dislike my opponent to want a knockout. I’m just doing my job in the ring. If the knockout comes, it comes. We’re hoping to have that opportunity Saturday. I have to pressure him to make him open up. Wherever he goes, I’ll be there,” he said.

Broner responded, “People are talking a lot about Pacquiao fighting Floyd Mayweather again, but I’m pretty sure Floyd is retired. I feel like people are trying to throw me to the wolves and overlook me.

“I’m not in awe of any fighter, especially Manny Pacquiao. I hope he’s in awe of me. I’m a one of a kind fighter too. I’ve made history in this sport.

“Manny Pacquiao has done a lot for the sport. I’m going to beat him up and have a drink with him afterward. I grew up in boxing and I know what’s going on. It’s a business, but don’t get it twisted, I’m going to dominate and win.

“This is going to be a hell of a fight. I’ve trained so hard and I want everyone to know that I play around a lot, but when that bell rings, I’m going to be ready. I didn’t come here to lose or lay down. I came here to get this victory. Real talk.”

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