Roach doubts Bradley’s ability to KO Pacquiao
By Chris Williams: Last week WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (31-0, 12 KO’s) expressed his belief that he feels he can knockout Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO’s) in their fight next Saturday night if he connects perfectly with one of his best left hooks to his chin.
Bradley has added more muscle and punching power for the rematch, and it’s quite conceivable that he could catch Pacquiao and knock him out cold I their rematch, especially if Pacquiao fights aggressively in the way that he and his trainer Freddie Roach have been talking about.
Roach, however, doubts that Bradley has the power to KO Pacquiao, and he’s not worried about his punching power at all. Roach obviously isn’t the one who will be taking the shots this Saturday, and it’s quite possible that Bradley will catch an overconfident Pacquiao and massacre him much in the same way that Juan Manuel Marquez did in his KO win over the Filipino star in 2012.
“He [Bradley] can’t punch with either hand,” Roach said via Tempo. “Bradley can kick Manny if he wants to. I didn’t even ask, but Manny told me while we were in one spot in the ring that he’d finish off Bradley once he opens up.”
Roach got happy when he heard Pacquiao tell him that he wants to KO Bradley, because it’s very important for Roach that Pacquiao fight with aggressiveness that he hasn’t shown since his KO win over Miguel Cotto in 2009. Roach had Pacquiao fighting in an all-out aggressive manner in his last fight against Marquez, and it backfired on Roach when Pacquiao was knocked clean out in the 6th round by Marquez.
Instead of learning from the fight, Roach is looking to have Pacquiao fight in a super aggressive manner against Bradley next Saturday, and Roach feels confident it’ll work this time because he thinks Bradley doesn’t have the power to destroy Pacquiao the way Marquez did.
Roach is making a big mistake if he sends Pacquiao out looking for an early knockout against Bradley. Roach should have seen the power that Bradley is punching with in his recent workouts, because if he had he’d know that the worst thing that Pacquiao can do is to try and mix it up with this guy.
It’s quite possible that Pacquiao’s punch resistance has diminished from his knockout loss to Marquez. We didn’t get a chance to see whether Pacquiao can still take a punch in his last fight against Brandon Rios, because he was too slow and limited to test his chin. Rios didn’t have the natural welterweight size to test Pacquiao’s chin the way that Bradley will, and besides that, Pacquiao was fighting cautiously.
This Saturday, Pacquiao will be fighting aggressively because he’ll want to prove that his previous loss to Bradley was just a fluke thing and not a sign that he’s an over-the-hill fighter. Like Roach, Pacquiao won’t respect Bradley’s power, and will go straight at him trying to take him out. This very well could lead to Bradley catching him with a perfect left hook counter to score a knockout. Don’t laugh. I believe the chances of this happening is very high.