Joel Diaz, trainer of world welterweight champion Tim Bradley, knows exactly why Manny Pacquiao is going to lose again on April 12.
“Manny, if you make him think, he doesn’t know how to fight,” Diaz told The Ring magazine in its May 2014 issue that just hit the newstands.
“But if you just come straight to get him, he’s going to demolish you. When he fought (Antonio) Margarito, Margarito was just coming forward. When he fought (Miguel) Cotto, Cotto was just coming forward. When he fought Joshua Clottey, Clottey was just coming forward. When he fought Ricky Hatton, Hatton was just coming forward. But when you make him think, and you’ve got footwork, he gets lost every time.
That’s what is going to play out when Bradley and Pacquiao face off in a rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Daiz predicts. If Pacquiao encountered rough sailing in the first fight, Diaz thinks Pacquiao is going to be in a lot more difficult situation in the second meeting.
“He (Bradley) matured as a boxer. Going through hell and back with Ruslan (Provodnikov) and beating (Juan Manuel) Marquez, his confidence level is high, and he’s more mature as a fighter. That’s the big difference. That plays a big role,” added Diaz.
After upsetting Pacquiao in June 2012, Bradley took on Provodnikov, a heavy-handed Russian slugger, and got almost knocked out for not following the gameplan.
But Bradley learned a lot and stuck to the strategy Diaz had laid out when he squared off with Marquez, who had just blown away Pacquiao.
In about two weeks time, Diaz has an idea how things are going to be.
And it’s going to be a little bit like the first time when Bradley moved from side-to-side with ease with Pacquiao hardly being able to land a meaningful blow and the judges finally giving Bradley the win he deserves. (Nick Giongco)