MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach wants to see his prized ward Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao fight unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr. one more time, if only to see if the Filipino icon can fulfill a promise he made to the trainer.
Pacquiao lost to Bradley a highly controversial – and widely criticized – split decision last Saturday in Las Vegas, but both boxers are open to a November 10 rematch.
In an interview with ESPN Radio Los Angeles, Roach said that should the rematch push through, he expects Pacquiao to put on an even more impressive performance.
“It’s really funny, because at the post-fight press conference, Pacquiao said, ‘I can’t wait for the rematch,’ and a lot of people talked about the fight being in Texas or moving the fight, and Manny said, ‘No, I love fighting in Vegas, I want the fight here in Vegas,’” Roach related.
“Then Manny says, ‘I will knock him out next time,” he said, adding that it was the first time he ever heard the Filipino boxer predict a knockout victory.
Roach commended Bradley for being a “brave, brave guy” but said he expects Pacquiao to dominate the American again in their rematch.
“I don’t see Bradley improving in that short of a time. I see the same result. I will get my wish, because Manny promised me he will knock him out, and usually when Manny promises something, he does it,” Roach said.
It is unsure if a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch will push through later this year, as their first fight is currently being investigated by the Attorney General of Nevada upon the request of Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Organization are also reviewing the bout.
Roach admitted that although he was shocked with the decision, he was still happy because of Pacquiao’s performance.
After a lackluster showing against rival Juan Manuel Marquez in November 2011, Pacquiao seemed to be back to his explosive self. He constantly landed his powerful left straights to Bradley, and during the middle rounds, wobbled the American with his multi-punch combinations.
“Everyone saw that Pacquiao is back,” Roach said. “That was the best fight we fought since (Miguel) Cotto. He fought a very effective and smart fight, he was using his angles and what we worked on in the gym.”
“He followed the game plan really well, and I was really happy with his performance. Pacquiao is back,” he added.