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Pacquiao feeling pressure yet confident in win

Over the past several weeks, in the dramatic and exciting lead-up to Manny Pacquiao's return to the squared circle, the Philippine native has practiced humility, noting the considerable talent his latest opponent, the undefeated Timothy Bradley, Jr., has. But if boxing observers view his modesty as an indication he's not confident about winning, the Fighting Congressman says his critics are sorely mistaken.

Doubts as to Pacquiao's readiness may stem from his matches against Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez, as even though the 33-year-old southpaw won both, they were by decision.

But it's because his two most recent wins weren't decisive that Pacquaio is confident he won't disappoint Saturday night.

Speaking to, Pacquiao said he hasn't put the type of pressure he's placing upon himself to win in this bout since he faced Erik Morales seven years ago at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the same place where Bradley and he will meet. In the first of three fights with Morales, Pacquiao sustained a significant cut over his right eye after the two bumped into each other when going in for a punch at the same time. The jarring impact didn't cause him to fall but was enough for him to not garner the points needed to win the match, as the judges unanimously crowned Morales as the winner.

Pac-Man wouldn't let that defeat affect his performance in future matches, as in the two fights he had with Morales in 2006, he won both by way of knockout.

Today, Pacquiao is confident he'll boost his string of consecutive wins to 16, thanks both to his preparation and his supporters who will be in attendance.

"There's a lot of boxing fans here showing their support," Pacquiao told ESPN before an assembly of reporters in the lobby of the MGM Grand.

Still, while the WBO Welterweight Champion is expecting to win, he's still not taking Bradley lightly.

"I expect him to be in 100 percent condition," said Pacquiao, when asked to anticipate how Bradley would appear this Saturday night. "He trained hard for this fight and I believe people will be happy he'll give a good fight."

Another difference between this fight and previous ones? Pacquiao's family, telling reporters that many of them will be in attendance, which he says will be a huge benefit to his confidence and desire to retain his title.

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