by Chris Robinson
Despite his upcoming bout with Manny Pacquiao being well over a month away, junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is looking extremely sharp in his training camp down in Indio, California. Bradley challenges Pacquiao for his WBO welterweight championship on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he has anything but an opponent’s mindset heading into the biggest fight of his career.
On Friday afternoon, Bradley went seven hard rounds of sparring against a trio of partners, looking extremely sharp during the four-minute frames. Sparring two rounds each against Austin, Texas’ Eric Fowler and Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Andre Sherard, Bradley was exceptionally precise, and finished up his day going three rounds with former lightweight titlist Julio Diaz.
Overseeing the action, Bradley’s trainer Joel Diaz can see the progress of his charge and revealed that he is going to be bringing in new faces to the gym come Monday.
“He’s just improving every day, as you can see. These kids were sent by his manager Cameron Dunkin, according to Cameron, great kids, good careers, a lot of experience,” Diaz said of Fowler and Sherard. “But once they’re in the ring with Tim, they just can’t figure him out. He’s just cracking them with everything he has. I’ve got to get some new ones next week.”
Anyone familiar with Julio Diaz wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he is giving Bradley some good work. Once a rising name in the sport and a two-time champion at 135 pounds with notable bouts against Angel Manfredy, Jose Luis Castillo and Juan Diaz, Julio has always had a cagey and versatile style inside of the ring.
It’s for those reasons that Joel Diaz feels his younger brother will likely be a part of camp for weeks to come.
“Julio’s going to be around because Tim likes Julio’s angles,” stated Joel. “Because, as you can see, with Julio’s footwork, Julio tries to imitate Manny when he switches lefty. He moves to the left, moves to the right, he does his little fakes here and there. Tim likes that, because it keeps Tim thinking all the time. So, Julio’s going to be in here for a while.”
Diaz added that both he and Dunkin will be on the lookout for sparring throughout camp and is eyeing a pair of lightweight contenders in the near future.
“He’s getting some kids and I’m getting some kids,” said Diaz. “On Monday I think I’m going to have Luis Ramos [Jr.] in here. Luis just fought last week, I think he went ten rounds, so he’s in shape. He’s a pretty good kid I can have in here. Also, Marvin Quintero, I might have him in here.”
Earlier in the week, trainer Robert Garcia made the trek to Indio from his bases in Oxnard, as he came with lightweight hopeful Oscar Diaz so that he could get in some work for Bradley. Diaz says that the young fighter fought well early on but he expressed his concern after Bradley began stepping up the pace.
“He was good the first day, but then Tim figured him out by that second round, third round, and he was just taking a lot of punches,” Diaz continued. “As a human begin myself, I care for the fighters. I don’t want them here to just be here. Of course they’re getting paid, but just because you’re getting paid and you’re taking a beating, I don’t like that.”
Seeing Bradley adjust and take command is nothing new to Diaz, however. Having been with Bradley throughout his professional career, Diaz points out that it has always been part of the blueprint to their success.
“When Timothy has problem with a fighter, it’s because he just goes in there and tries to break him,” said Diaz. “But when he uses intelligence and starts smart, he’ll figure them out within a round or two. It’s been like that since every single one of his fights. When we step in the ring for one of his fights, we’re always careful in the first or second round. After the second round, and then we go to work.”