Physical Tim Bradley has Manny Pacquiao's attention
11:36 PM, Feb. 22, 2012 | Comments
The Desert Sun
— While Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao were playing nice during Tuesday's news conference, trainer Freddie Roach threw some verbal jabs in the media about Bradley's head.
“We're fighting a guy who is aggressive, comes to us, uses he head a lot, uses his elbows He's a very physical fighter,” said Roach, considered the top trainer in boxing and the subject of a five-part HBO documentary. “I think Manny is going to look great in this fight.”
Pacquiao, the fighter of the decade in the 2000s, is taking on the undefeated Bradley (28-0) on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Before the fight was booked, Roach called Bradley a dirty fighter because of the head-butts that ended two fights.
Bradley had his victory over Nate Campbell overruled to a no-contest because of an incidental head-butt, and his fight against Devon Alexander was stopped after 10 rounds because of another incidental head-butt. Bradley won the Alexander fight by unanimous decision.
Roach has been focusing on Bradley for a long time. First as a fan, and then as a possible opponent. First, Bradley was in negotiations to take on one of Roach's other star fighters, Amir Khan.
So Roach has studied Bradley for a while. And beyond working the referees through the media about the head-butts, Roach said there's something pay attention to.
“He's a very hard, hard guy,” Roach said. “I see him bang heads with guys and the other guy in excruciating pain, holding their eyes and so forth, and he's walking around like nothing.
“He doesn't feel pain that way. I was brought up the same way, never to show pain.”
Pacquiao was working toward a mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather, but negotiations fell apart when Mayweather would agree on a 50-50 split.
“Mayweather called us out then three days later he wants a 70-30 split,” Roach said. “He knows how to protect himself. He knows that's a deal-breaker. Did he really call us out? No. Is he too worried about losing? Yes. If he has a loss on his record, he can't say he's better than Sugar Ray Robinson anymore.
“I think losses make people better fighters. If he loses, he might be a better fighter and win the rematch. Who knows. He's full of excuses and in my opinion he's afraid to fight Manny Pacquiao. That's it.”
Asked if Pacquiao is waiting to retire until a fight is made with Mayweather, Roach responded, “I won't say until because we might have to wait until we're 50 at this guy's pace.”
On Tuesday, Roach said it was nice an undefeated fighter was not afraid to face Pacquiao, an unveiled jab at Mayweather.
Bradley said he thinks Roach is worried about the fight. In fact, Bradley said he was a little surprised he even landed the fight, as Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Lamont Peterson were also considered.
“Honestly, I think a lot of people feel this is a dangerous fight for Manny. This is not going to be a walk in the park,” Bradley said. “I'm young, I'm hungry and I'm determined. Manny hasn't seen a fighter like myself and my caliber in a very long time. He's faced some top guys but they were past their prime. I'm right in my prime. I'm physically sound, I believe in myself, I believe in my ability, I believe I can beat him. That's the reason why people should tune into this fight.”