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Roach: Bradley will never be Mayweather

roach5By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach doesn’t see any improvement in the game of former two division world champion Tim Bradley. Roach sees the same old Bradley, and believes he’s going to revert to his old self when the punches start flying in his fight with Manny Pacquiao next month on April 9.

Roach has heard the talk of Bradley being an improved fighter now that he’s with trainer Teddy Atlas. Roach doesn’t believe it. He doesn’t think Bradley is capable of beating Pacquiao, and he further doesn’t see him as another Floyd Mayweather Jr., who recently beat Pacquiao by a 12 round decision last May.

There’s a lot of talk about how Bradley has a real chance of beating the 37-year-old Pacquiao and sending him into retirement with a big fat loss. Bradley, 32, seems to have aged less than Pacquiao since their last fight in 2014, and it may not matter that he’s not another Mayweather.

Just by aging at a slower pace than Pacquiao, Bradley might have enough to finally beat the Filipino fighter for the first time without controversy.

“He can never be Mayweather,” Roach said of Bradley via Lance Pugmire at the “No way, not even close. It’s night and day. Fighters try to improve and change, but when they get hit, they revert to what they normally do best, so we’ll see in this fight. Bradley has been a good opponent for two fights. He’s there, he’s steady, but he’s facing a very tough guy.”

Mayweather did not do anything special in beating Pacquiao last year. Mayweather simply stayed on the outside and nailed Pacquiao with right hands when he would rush forward looking to land. Those right hand shots from Mayweather in the first two rounds took away a lot of the ambition that Pacquiao had. Pacquiao kept trying but he was not fighting nearly as hard. If Bradley can do the same thing by nailing Pacquiao with some punches while he is trying to come forward, then he could make him too cautious to win the fight. Mayweather also was using movement and many frequent jabs to keep Pacquiao from coming at hm.

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“I thought his [Bradley] last opponent [stunk]. The guy was out of shape. I don’t think [Bradley] looked any better than he ever has,” said Roach.

Bradley’s last opponent was Brandon Rios, who clearly wasn’t in the best of shape for the fight. You could tell he wasn’t in great shape after he rehydrated to a career high 170lbs. That’s the kind of weight that middleweights rehydrate to, not welterweights. Rios put on 23 pounds after he rehydrated. But it’s not Bradley’s fault that Rios didn’t train hard enough to take off the weight properly. It was Rios that did it. Bradley did his part and fought effectively and looked improved in that fight.

I think Bradley has a great chance of beating Pacquiao in this fight, because Bradley is catching him at the right time. Bradley is peaking right now after wins over Rios and Jessie Vargas; whereas Pacquiao is on the downside of his career after losing to Mayweather last May.

Bradley won’t have to be Mayweather to beat Pacquiao. All Bradley needs to do is fight the way he did against Rios, and he’ll get an easy win. Atlas had Bradley using movement, pot shots, and a lot of jabbing to dominate Rios. It was boxing that I’ve personally never seen from Bradley. We didn’t see Bradley standing in the pocket winging shots round after round like he’d done in the recent past in his fight against Jessie Vargas. Bradley was fighting smart and under control. He was following Atlas’ game plan to the letter, and it was working to perfection. Even if Bradley were to fight Pacquiao like he did against Vargas last year, I still don’t think Pacquiao would be able to handle it. Bradley is too skilled and too young at this point for Pacquiao to handle him. I also think Pacquiao has never recovered mentally from his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. Pacquiao doesn’t look like he is capable of fighting in the pocket like he did back then. So if Bradley were to decide to stand and trade with him on April 9, I think he would be alright.

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