Manny Pacquiao's boxing coach, Freddie Roach, has asserted that the Filipino boxer lost his "killer instinct" to knock down his opponents in the ring because of his devotion to the Bible.
Roach, who is preparing Pacquiao for a fight with Australian boxer Jeff Horn this coming Sunday, is encouraging the Filipino WBO welterweight champion to bring back his old self and go for a knockout win against his opponent.
"I would love to see him get his killer instinct back and go for the knockout. I know we haven't done that in a long time and the Bible has a lot to do with that, and it's very tough to argue with the Bible," Roach said in a recent interview, as reported by Asian Journal.
Earlier this week, Roach expressed his excitement when he told The Daily Telegraph that Pacquiao had knocked down his Mexican sparring partner Adrian Young twice.
Pacquiao, who announced that he is set to retire from boxing by the end of 2017, has not been able to knock out any of his opponents since 2009, when he became more devoted to the Bible.
He scored his last knockout victory in his fight against Miguel Cotto that year, establishing him as the undisputed best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. But since then, he had won nine bouts via points decision and suffered three defeats, including a one-punch knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez.
"When he found the Bible, he'd tell me, 'I don't have to hurt people, I can beat them by points,' It has been really, really frustrating." Roach recounted.
"To fight the Bible is really hard, I am not religious, I don't know it that well, whereas Manny reads it every day. So it's tough to argue. But I don't think God decides the outcomes of fights, I think people do," he added.
In an effort to reawaken Pacquiao's instinct to knock down his opponents in the ring, Roach has told the Filipino athlete that there is also violence in the Bible. The coach said that Pacquiao was still a little compassionate in his last fight, but he noted that the boxer seemed to be more "fired up" about his coming fight with Horn.
Pacquiao had once admitted that he was once a heavy drinker who was unfaithful to his wife while he ran a strip club and a casino. But the boxer turned his life around when his wife was contemplating divorce. Pacquiao said that he experienced a "spiritual awakening" and claimed that he heard the voice of God. Just before a fight in Las Vegas, he fell to his knees and begged God for forgiveness.
Last Sunday, Pacquiao was seen attending the morning service at the Worship Centre Christian Church in Carina, Brisbane.