MANILA, Philippines – Timothy Bradley Jr appeared to be a more refined fighter after hiring veteran trainer Teddy Atlas to prepare him for his WBO welterweight title defense against Brandon Rios this past November.
Under the tutelage of Atlas, Bradley easily disposed an iron-chinned Rios and scored his first knockout victory since November 2011 when he handled Joel Casamayor in 8 rounds.
Bradley won the fight by knocking Ríos down with a body shot before following it up with a barrage of punches to slump his opponent again to compel referee Tony Weeks to wave it off in the ninth round.
The 32-year-old native of Palm Springs, California gives the full credit of his impressive win over Rios to his new boxing coach, stating that Atlas polished his arsenal as a two-fisted fighter and taught him to stay focused under pressure..
As Bradley deems that he sits on a higher pedestal when he goes head-to-head with Manny Pacquiao for the third time onApril 9 (April 10 in PH), Freddie Roach believes in the old adage “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick.”
Roach, who has been in Pacquiao’s corner since the Filipino boxer’s title-winning performance against Lehlo Ledwaba in June 2001, pointed out that it will only take one punch for Bradley to revert to his old fighting style.
“Sure, we will make some adjustments for the changes his new trainer implemented in the last fight, but as soon as Manny lands some meaningful punches, Bradley will revert back to his old style and that’s what we have to be prepared for,” he told BoxingScene.com.
Although many lauded Atlas’ contribution to Bradley’s newly-found fearsome form in the ring, the 7-time “Trainer of the Year” recipient rebutted the observation by claiming that Pacquiao’s American rival has not significantly improved as a top-notch pugilist.
“Breaking down tape from the previous two fights is very important because I don’t feel Bradley has changed that much,” Roach said.
With less than two weeks to go before the rubber match, Roach revealed that he is satisfied with the turnout of Pacquaio’s training camp.
“It has been no distraction at all. He is all business in the ring and the only thing we discuss is the fight with Bradley. If anything, he seems to be extra motivated to perform well in this fight,” he stated.
Roach also confided that Pacquiao seeks to redeem himself after his poor performance in his May 2015 blockbuster bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. by closing out his 21-year prizefighting career with a statement-making triumph over Bradley.
“He’s pouring everything into this training. If the opportunity for a knockout presents itself during the fight, he’s going to go for it. He knows how to close the show and he wants this show closed with fireworks. He wants to finish the book on his boxing career with a spectacular ending,” he ended. – Rappler.com