The trainer of unbeaten boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. stressed the need for a clear victory over Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao in their April 12 rematch since he doubts that the American can get a decision for a second time.
Bradley infamously defeated Pacquiao when they first fought in June 2012, getting a controversial split decision that allowed him to annex the WBO welterweight championship.
Given the controversy generated by that fight, trainer Joel Diaz is not so sure that his fighter can leave the match to the judges this time around.
“In order to beat Manny, we have to do it very clear,” Diaz told Tha Boxing Voice. “We know for a fact that going to a decision with Manny Pacquiao again, and having it be close, we are not going to win.”
This does not mean that Bradley will be going for a knockout, as Diaz himself admitted that his fighter is “not a knockout artist.”
“But, you know, there will be a point in time where I see that if Manny is slowing down, if he’s maybe frustrated or tired, I can push Bradley to apply pressure and maybe force a stop, maybe a TKO,” said the trainer.
Diaz added that he and Bradley will be preparing for the “best Manny ever,” not the Pacquiao who stepped off the gas against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in November.
“We don’t look at Manny coming in with any weakness,” said Diaz. “We expect the best Manny ever. Manny’s always been a great fighter, he’s always been explosive, he has a lot of power in his fists, and he has speed.”
“So we expect the best Manny ever that night, so we gotta prepare for that,” he added.
At the same time, Diaz is confident that Bradley’s great campaign in 2013 has given his fighter a huge boost of confidence going into the rematch.
In March 2013, Bradley survived a war against Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov in one of the most memorable matches of the year, then outpointed Juan Manuel Marquez.
“After going to war with Ruslan, one of the most vicious fighters in the sport right now, and beating him and then beating Juan Manuel Marquez, the guy that put Pacquiao to sleep – he built some confidence,” Diaz said of Bradley.
“It made him a more mature fighter, that’s the difference in this fight. He’s got the confidence, and I think he’s got the maturity. And he’s been in the ring with Manny already, and I think that’s gonna make a big difference,” he added.