(Image courtesy of Chris Farina, Top Rank)
Perhaps we'll find out April 12 when Manny Pacquiao (55-4-2, 38 KO) faces red hot WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (31-0; 12 KO) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao vs Bradley 2 will be a rematch of their June 2012 bout which arguably produced the most controversial outcome in boxing history.
'Killer instinct' is a euphemism for ruthlessness.
It's perhaps what separates professional fighters from most other athletes as few can voluntarily inflict pain on others without motive or acting in self defense.
Fighters are typically thought to innately possess this nature, at least inside the ring.
Not long ago, Manny Pacquiao was a ball of furious fire who wreaked havoc on opponent after opponent in division after division, slicing and dicing his way to boxing immortality.
However, Manny hasn't scored a knockout since 2009 and Tim Bradley believes Pac Man has gone soft.
Has Pacquiao, over the years, changed from a blood-thirsty gentleman to a really nice guy who doesn't want to hurt anyone without ?
"I didn’t see the killer instinct [against Brandon Rios] that I normally see with Pacquiao,” Bradley said Monday night via BoxingScene.
“I didn’t see that ‘finish him’ type of style with him. I saw that he was more cautious. Some may say that he was boxing smart. That’s not Pacquiao."
"We’re used to the Pacquiao who just comes through, wrecking things and being destructive and just knocking out guys.”
Couple all of his endeavors with his immense fame and monetary wealth and its easy to see how a fighter could lose his edge in the ring. However, the Filipino slugger insists Bradley will learn, first-hand, he's no Mr. Nice Guy in the ring.
“The only way Bradley can beat me this time is to knock me out, former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao told BoxingScene this week.
"He cannot outbox me."
"I will be the aggressor. I will throw a lot of punches at him – more than I threw against Rios -- and I will land them."
"Last time, I was too nice. This time, I will finish what I start. I want to get back that belt he won off of me," Pacquiao said.
Is Manny Pacquiao's killer instinct back?