MANILA – Boxing trainer Joel Diaz guaranteed that his fighter, Timothy Bradley Jr., will go all out when he defends his WBO welterweight title against Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in their rematch this weekend.
Diaz and Bradley have both been very confident in the lead-up to the fight, and in the final press conference before the showdown, the trainer managed to get in one last dig at the “Pacman.”
“Timothy, as a professional, he told Manny, ’Are you ready?’” said Diaz, describing the face-off between Bradley and Pacquiao. “And Manny hesitated a little bit, and then he said, ‘Yeah, I’m ready.’”
“And Timothy just said, ‘Okay, you better be ready.’ That’s it,” he said.
Diaz was in Bradley’s corner two years ago when the American controversially defeated Pacquiao, and watched as “Desert Storm” was roundly criticized by boxing fans in the months after the fight.
Bradley was the underdog in that bout, but Diaz believes that his fighter deserves to be a favorite this time.
“He (Pacquiao) is getting older. He’s a lot older now than 2012. I don’t see the ability that he had two years, four years, five years ago,” Diaz claimed.
“And I’ve seen Bradley’s transformation, and he’s hungrier and stronger than Manny,” he added.
Still, he acknowledged that the fight could go either way.
“We’re here to give it all,” Diaz said. “We are a hundred percent ready to come and fight. Either fighter has a lot to prove.”
But he also admits that they cannot afford to let the fight go the distance.
“It can’t go the distance, because if it goes the distance, we feel that boxing owes Manny something because of the controversy (in the first fight),” he said.
“So if the fight goes the distance, and Timothy is a little bit ahead and people see that he is winning the fight, but the fight is close, then we’re not gonna win,” Diaz said, adding that he expects the judges to give Pacquiao the benefit of the doubt in the close rounds. -- With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News.