by David P. Greisman
Boxing trainer Robert Garcia, whose stable includes Thomas Dulorme, Mikey Garcia, Evgeny Gradovich, Marcos Maidana and Brandon Rios, among others, spoke with BoxingScene.com on March 28.
BoxingScene.com: Who do you think wins the rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley?
Garcia: ďItís a pickíem fight. I think this time itís going to be a lot closer. Timothy Bradley won the first fight ó I think Pacquiao won it. I think Pacquiao won it, but this time Bradleyís on a winning streak. Right now Bradley knows that heís unstoppable. He just beat [Juan Manuel] Marquez and heís on a winning streak. I think this timeís going to be a lot closer. Itís going to be a fight that I canít pick the winner right now.Ē
BoxingScene.com: After Pacquiao fought your fighter Brandon Rios, it seemed to me that it didnít necessarily prove that Pacquiao was back, but that Pacquiao, despite his recent losses, hadnít necessarily been shown to be done in the first place.
Garcia: ďI think he looked good. He looked fast. He looked strong. But like you said, it didnít prove much, but this is the fight where he has to do it. Itís Timothy Bradley, and he really has to do it. This is pretty much not his last opportunity, but the fight that he needs to win and prove everybody wrong.Ē
BoxingScene.com: As a former fighter and as someone who works with high-level fighters, how do you keep the hunger? How do you stay hungry later in your career?
Garcia: ďAt 26, I hated the sport. Thatís why I retired. I wasnít hungry anymore. And I was only 26 when I had my last fight. But now, what Iím doing, I just turned 39. Iím not 55, 60, 65 where Iím tired, Iím sick of the sport, I just do it for the paydays. I do it because I love it. I do it because I know I have to take care of my family, the people in my gym, my employees, my amateur program. I do it because I love it, and I still got 15, 20 more years of this.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Do you think itís possible for a fighter in Pacquiaoís position to still be hungry, or is it potentially slipping at his age?
Garcia: ďWith all the fights that heís had, the wars that heís had, it canít be the same anymore. He canít be the same. We can hear it from his trainer. We can hear it from his manager. We can hear it from his sparring partners, from him himself ó ĎIím in the best shape of my life.í Thatís never going to be true. Itís never going to be true. Itís hard at the age and all the fights that heís had, and all the wars, and all the money that heís made, to be the same fighter.Ē
Pick up a copy of Davidís new book, ďFighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,Ē at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Timothy Bradley , Manny Pacquiao , Robert Garcia , Pacquiao-Bradley Rematch , Pacquiao vs Bradley Rematch