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Bradley's Trainer: Tim Must Take Risks To Beat Pacquiao

By Chris Robinson

From the moment he officially signed on to face Manny Pacquiao, there has been an unwavering sense of confidence coming from the camp of Timothy Bradley. An unbeaten titleholder in the junior welterweight class, Bradley will be moving up in weight to challenge Pacquiao for his WBO welterweight crown inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 9th.

Bold proclamations and heavy bravado are familiar traits of underdogs in boxing but there are times when you can sense a genuine beleif coming from a fighter and his team. Such is the case with Bradley’s head trainer Joel Diaz, a man who has been guiding Tim’s career since his professional debut against Francisco Martinez in August of 2004 in Corona, California.
 
While other trainers may either be more outspoken or have collected more accolades than Diaz, who was a former title challenger and came from a fighting family, he seems content on staying away from the spotlight and focusing on honing Bradley’s skills as the Pacquiao clash inches closer.

I caught up with Diaz recently and got some updates on Bradley’s camp in Palm Springs, California.
 
Whether discussing how Bradley is looking thus far in camp, admitting that it will be quite the chore trying to find future sparring partners, or revealing a little bit of his blueprint as far as how to fight Pacquiao, Diaz spoke with a candid tone that couldn’t fully mask the eagerness he too carries.
 
In his own words, this is what Diaz had to share…
 
Positive vibes…

“Everything’s going real good. We’re ahead of schedule and everything is moving along real, real well. It’s just all positive vibes. Everything around the camp, everything is positive. And a lot of hype. Everybody around the team is very excited, because we see the improvement in Tim. His hand speed, we see everything that he’s been doing. Of course, it’s a good feeling and we feel we’re going to be victorious on June 9th.”
 
Maintaining Bradley’s progress in camp…
“I have to keep my schedule of workouts and maintain it, as well as the rest of the team. They have to do their job as far as keeping in touch with how he’s doing and what he’s doing. He’s been training already for a month and a half, but for three days a week. This week we started camp officially, every day, since Monday. [Wednesday] was his second day of sparring and he looked really, really good. As a matter of fact, for being the second day, he looked spectacular. That was something that that got everybody got excited. As soon as he finished his sparring, that’s all he did, because the day before he put in his gym work and then he did his conditioning. To me, it was basically focusing on sparring. He wanted more, but I had to cut the work."

Keeping Bradley moving…
“But he’s complying pretty good and he’s not saying ‘No’ to what we decide, especially when I tell him, we’re still quite a ways ahead. I don’t want him to be burned out. Because he started his conditioning training, his running, and all that stuff he started a month ago. When it comes to coming down to the gym and I was like ‘No, no, no. We’re just going to come to the gym three days a week for now’. We have to watch his training and that’s my job. He looked good in sparring and tomorrow we’ll focus more on what happened today. On Saturday, it depends how he’s feeling. I might have him move in the ring with a southpaw, somebody who can keep him busy, keep him moving.”
 
The sparring partners in camp…
“These kids we’re sparring now, they’re good fighters but I don’t think they’re going to last. We got a couple of them already, they came down and sparred. Real good fighters, real strong kids, but after today, they can probably finish the week and then I got to send them back and get some other sparring partners. Because he’s dialed them in right away and all they do is they just become another opponent. And I don’t want nobody to get hurt. Right now, with Timothy’s hand speed, his movement, and his strength is becoming a big factor. I’m looking for another two or three sparring partners for the following week.”
 
The difficulty in recruiting future sparring mates…
“Let me tell you one thing; watching Manny Pacquiao, you cannot find sparring similar as Manny. That is very hard. What I am focusing on is just having some young, fresh fighters. I’m not looking for veteran fighters, old fighters. Because old fighters have a slow pace, they’re more experienced type of fighters. I want fighters that are aggressive, fast, and they’re constantly throwing punches. That’s the reason why I have two, three, even four sparring partners in line, because I’m switching them every two rounds. I’m switching them, I’m starting guys fresh, from the beginning. I don’t want to have a kid go four, five rounds by himself, because Tim, after the second round, he will start breaking him. So after the third round, they’re just taking a beating. My strategy right now is to have four fighters on standby and keep throwing them in there after every two rounds.”
 
Not concerned about Bradley’s weight…

“As far as his weight, that’s not even an issue. He’s walking around right now at 155 [pounds]. He says ‘You know what coach? By the end of May, I want to be at 148. I want to be slim and fast and strong’. I told him ‘You don’t have to. I need you to be at 150, 152’. And he says ‘Coach, for that fight I’m going to come in at 145, 146’ and I asked ‘What for? I want you at 147’. He goes ‘Because I want to be solid muscle. Fast, solid muscle’. With his diet and the way he runs, he’s always looking really, really good. The way he’s working out, he’s generated a lot of hand speed. He’s faster, he’s stronger, his movement, everything. We’re putting everything together. We’re putting the whole package together.”

Why you have to take risks against Manny Pacquiao…
“Look, me as a trainer, my plan goes in different stages. Early, middle, and end. And that’s the way it’s going to be. At the same time, it’s not going to be a game of chess. It could be, early in the rounds, early in the fight. Because we have to study the fighter, we can’t just get in there reckless. But it’s going to be a very exciting fight, because Tim wants to win it. I want to win. If you want to win against Manny Pacquiao, you’ve got to take risks. You’ve got to take risks, but smart risks. You can’t just get reckless. At the same time, you can’t just let Manny unload all the time. You have to take risks no matter what. Early in the fight, due to the fact that you have to study your opponent, of course it’s going to be a game of chess early in the fight. But after that, by the middle of the fight, I think it’s going to be a fight.”

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by mathed on 04-22-2012

[[email protected];12029839]i hope bradley will stand up to his billing...and that is to fight with pac, and not run as others do... he might be the "slick, black afro-american" hopkins was referring to to beat the pacman... but as i see…

Comment by mathed on 04-22-2012

Bradley will break Pac down like he does everyone else. The sense of hardwork and dedication coming from Bradley is off the charts. Pac only gave himself 8 weeks to prepare, and it's like this big deal every time he…

Comment by PacmanP4PLegend on 04-22-2012

[QUOTE=mex602;12029706]No marquez robbed. Pac got his ass taxed. Everyone knows that.[/QUOTE] If Bradley does what Marquez did then he will lose for sure. He needs a couple KD's and an impressive showing combined with that counterpunching style Marquez has (thats…

Comment by GRUSTLER on 04-22-2012

[QUOTE=I'm so sorry;12029858]Isn't that what Marquez did? Bradley needs to take risks in order to get a knockdown, a few at least. There's no way the decision is going to Bradley with Arum being in the building. In an ideal…

Comment by thuggery on 04-22-2012

[QUOTE=GRUSTLER;12029854]WRONG! You don't take risks with Pacquiao [B]but rather out box him[/B]. Taking risks is leaving yourself open to get clocked by Manny's fast hands.[/QUOTE] Isn't that what Marquez did? Bradley needs to take risks in order to get a…

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