The immense backlash that followed Timothy Bradley’s controversial June 2012 win over Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will only serve to motivate the unbeaten American, according to respected trainer Naazim Richardson.
Bradley was infamously awarded a split decision that allowed him to annex the WBO welterweight belt, but the result was criticized by analysts and fans alike such that up to now few outside of Bradley’s team believe the American was the rightful winner.
Speaking to On the Ropes Boxing Radio, Richardson said all the hate that Bradley received will fuel the fighter heading into his rematch with Pacquiao on April 12 in Las Vegas. [
“The public has to be careful with what they build up,” said Richardson. “(Saying) ‘I thought Pacquiao won, I thought Pacquiao won, I thought Pacquiao won…’ Stuff like that fuels Timmy.”
“For Timmy, it’s more about the controversy that people put on him for beating Pacquiao,” he added. “I didn’t see it to be that controversial. I think the public and the media beat him up so bad, that people want to act like he did not win the fight against Pacquiao.”
Richardson noted that beating Pacquiao two years ago should have been a great moment for Bradley, but it was instead tainted by controversy.
“I think he wants to go back and prove something to everybody. I saw the dude do an interview after beating Pacquiao, and it looked like he was gonna cry,” said Richardson. “That’s how bad the public treated him.”
“It should have been his greatest moment, and he looked like he was about to cry.”
Bradley himself acknowledged that he wants to erase the controversy of the first fight with a clear result this time.
But this may also backfire against Bradley, warned Richardson.
“It’s going to play into fuel for this guy against Pacquiao, and I’m hoping it doesn’t play into the kind of fuel and he runs out there and does something stupid, because Pacquiao is still a dynamo,” said Richardson.
Despite his concerns, Richardson is predicting that Bradley will beat Pacquiao – this time in decisive fashion.
“Tim’s now going to beat up Pacquiao in this fight. I would not be surprised if Timmy definitively beats Pacquiao in this fight. I would not be surprised at all,” he said.