MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach laughed off unbeaten boxer Timothy Bradley’s threats to fight more aggressively when he takes on Russian Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16.
Provodnikov was the primary sparring partner of Filipino legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao during his training camp for his fight against Bradley in June 2012.
Pacquiao wound up losing via a highly debatable split decision, and Provodnikov has vowed to avenge the “Pacman’s” loss.
“I’ve heard Bradley say he’s going to take the fight to Ruslan,” Roach said in a RingTV report by Lem Satterfield. “He said the same thing before his fight with Manny.”
“And when he feels Ruslan’s power, like when he felt Manny’s, it’s going to be a remake of Forrest Gump,” he added. “Run, Timmy, run.”
Bradley’s win over Pacquiao was widely criticized by boxing fans and media, and a panel of judges convened by the World Boxing Organization later re-scored the fight unanimously in the Filipino’s favor.
“This isn’t about Ruslan finishing what Manny started,” Roach said. “It’s about duplicating it.”
“When Manny was preparing to defend his title against Bradley last spring, I said any of Manny’s sparring partners could beat Bradley. Ruslan will prove that on March 16.”
Bradley is aiming for his 30th straight career victory, while Provodnikov will gun for his 23rd win against one loss. It will be Bradley’s first defense of the WBO welterweight title that he won from Pacquiao.