‘If Bradley trades, he’ll lose,’ says Roach
LOS ANGELES—Expect Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley to go for a knockout on April 12 because that’s the only way both camps see their fighters of an assured victory.
Pacquiao and Bradley will meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to do a rematch. In their first fight in 2012, Bradley won by a controversial decision.
Pacquiao arrived on April 8 in Las Vegas, ahead of their championship fight.
Bradley said he plans to knock out the Filipino superstar to prove to the world that judges didn’t erroneously hand him a victory.
“I’m going to beat Manny to get the credit that I didn’t get the first time,” Bradley told Asian Journal, adding that he’ll need to do it convincingly.
In a recent interview with HBO, Bradley’s trainer Diaz echoed that same sentiment, saying a decision will not be good enough and if the fight even appears remotely close after 12 rounds, judges would probably favor Pacquiao.
“If the fight goes the distance, and it’s close, we’re not going to win,” Diaz said, according to RingTV. “Timothy has to put in the extra work to clearly beat Manny Pacquiao in every possible way to win this fight.”
While Bradley seeks redemption, Pacquiao is seeking a rebirth in his career.
Despite Pacquiao’s rebound from his nightmarish knockout loss against Juan Manuel Marquez by beating Brandon Rios in convincing fashion in Macau last year, fans and Bradley harped on the Filipino for not finishing the Mexican-American fighter.
Throughout the press tour, Diaz and Bradley told anyone within hearing distance that the 35-year-old Pacquiao was washed up and has lost his “killer instinct.”
Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach were dismayed by the comments but Bradley’s lack of respect served as extra motivation in training camp.
“We were insulted by the comments,” Roach told the Asian Journal.
“It gives me more determination and encouragement,” Pacquiao said. “That’s what we’re working on now, to get back that killer instinct and aggressiveness.”
For Pacquiao, a knockout victory against Bradley will reassure fans that he’s back to his old powerful form, and that it is a clear demonstration that his killer instinct has returned.
The last time Pacquiao won by a knockout was more than four years ago—in 2009, when he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round.
The goals of each man should make for an entertaining slugfest but Roach doesn’t expect Bradley to go near his Filipino fighter.
“I think he’s learned his lesson when he fought against Ruslan (Provodnikov),” Roach said, alluding to Bradley’s match against the Russian fighter, where he nearly got knocked out. “If Bradley comes close and trades, Manny will catch him.”
Roach predicts that Bradley will fight more like he did, when he beat Marquez last year. Roach expects Bradley to stay on the outside and to try and outbox Pacquiao.
But he’ll make a mistake, Roach said.
“He’s a good fighter but he has bad habits,” Roach said. “He sticks out his chin and that’s when Manny can catch him.”
(NYNJ April 11-17, 2014 Sec A pg.1)