By Luis Sandoval
It’s taken nearly 2 years but a rematch with Manny Pacquiao and reigning WBO Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is set to take place April 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. Their first meeting ended in controversy as it appeared the only people in the arena who felt Bradley won were the two judges who awarded him the fight. It wasn’t a popular decision and despite Bradley keeping his undefeated record intact, the backlash of the fight has haunted him ever since.
Up until now, Bradley has been fortunate enough to find himself on the winning end of every decision in his career. BoxingScene caught up with Bradley’s trainer Joel Diaz and asked him if the fight were to go the distance again, if he would have any concern about being given a fair shake due to what happened in the first fight.
“I just think at this point if it goes the distance and the fight is close, they’ll give it to Manny. Due to the controversy, the judges don’t want to get attacked like they did in the last [fight]. So we have that in consideration. We know that if the fight goes the distance and its close, Manny Pacquiao is going to win. We know that. We take that into consideration because there was a lot of beef in the first one and the judges took the toll of it and they don’t want to go through the same thing anymore” Diaz would tell BoxingScene.
Coming to the conclusion that a close fight will not go in their favor, you have to wonder if Diaz will employ a game plan that will try to take matters into their own hands and not leave it up to the judges. Despite thinking a close fight will be given to Pacquiao, Diaz assures that doesn’t mean their game plan will be simply to go for a knockout.
“I’m not looking for a knockout. I’m looking to beat him; beat him right and beat him fair. Decisive, round by round. Don’t get me wrong, at this point in Manny’s career I can have Timmy apply pressure and he could hurt him. As you can see in Timothy’s last fight, his punches got sharper. He’s hitting a lot harder. Something can happen in the fight. Tim has a heavy hand and Manny Pacquiao opens up a lot. Anything can happen but I’m just telling you this: we have to win very clear” said Diaz.
Controversial scoring is nothing new in boxing but Team Bradley is hoping for fair judging and while they can’t control what the judges do, they can control what they work on and execute in the ring.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter & Instagram @Truewest007.