Retiring Pacquiao out to preserve legacy against Bradley


Manny Pacquiao says a convincing victory over Timothy Bradley is crucial to his boxing legacy as he prepares for his farewell fight in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Filipino fighter Pacquiao is one of the most revered boxers in history having won world titles in eight different weight categories - the only man to have done so.

But the 37-year-old has stated his intention to hang up the gloves following the bout at MGM Grand against long-time rival Bradley to focus on his political career in his homeland.

It will mark the third time the pair have faced each other with many considering Bradley lucky to win the first encounter in a controversial points decision in June 2012, a wrong Pacquiao righted with a convincing unanimous decision win in April 2014.

Pacquiao turned down potential fights with Amir Khan and Terence Crawford to opt for a rubber fight with Bradley, which will reportedly earn him $20million, and he is determined to bow out in style.

"It's really important for me to win this fight, to win convincingly. It's part of my legacy," said Pacquiao, who has won 57 of his 65 professional fights - 38 of which came via knockout.

"The most important thing is the fight and making people happy. Every time I fight I know my fellow countrymen are behind me and supporting me."

Pacquiao is returning to the ring for the first time since losing the richest bout in boxing history to Floyd Mayweather Jr 11 months ago, with the Filipino later citing a shoulder injury as the reason for the loss.

Reports suggest that Bradley will seek to follow a similar strategy employed by Juan Manuel Marquez during a brutal sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao in December 2012, something Pacquiao is prepared for.

"I know that Floyd used the same sparring strategy, I know that they're going to use that strategy," he added. "But I learned a lot from that fight. So maybe they should think about another strategy."

The theme of legacy is also important to Bradley, who is desperate to eradicate any doubts over his contentious 2012 win.

Bradley - whose 2014 loss to Pacquiao is his only career defeat - later admitted that the negative reaction he received after winning the fight left him contemplating suicide.

It is something that still rankles with him, particularly as he feels few people reacted in a similar fashion after a 2014 draw against Diego Chaves that many thought he deserved to have won.

"You don't hear anybody say, 'even though he got a draw against Chaves, I felt that he beat Chaves'," Bradley said. "You don't hear anybody saying that, do you? No, exactly. I beat Chaves and I didn't get that credit.

"This [Pacquiao fight] is about legacy for me - getting a third crack at it. I'm ready. More than any other fight I've ever been in. 

"If I'm going to beat Manny Pacquiao, it's now. This is my only opportunity, and it's my last opportunity. And I am ready for it."