Roach on Atlas- “I don’t think he can change what Tim Bradley is”

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Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley,This Saturday Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38KOs) will have his third chapter with Timothy Bradley (33-1-1, 13KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on April 9 in what will be a busy day of boxing on both sides of the pond.  Pacquiao, coming off a decision loss in his long-awaited bout with Floyd Mayweather, will enter the ring against Bradley coming off an 11-month layoff and a shoulder surgery that has resulted in Pacquiao being just a slight favorite heading into this bout.  Despite all of the accomplishments, Pacquiao feels he still has something to prove for his rubber match with Bradley and wants a convincing win that will perhaps be his final bout of his incredible career.

Manny has stated throughout the promotion that he will retire after this fight to focus on a life of politics in the Philippines.  In his third fight with Bradley, most in the boxing world feel Pacquiao has already defeated Bradley twice, but Timothy was awarded with a split-decision win in their controversial first fight.  Most boxing fans were initially disappointed with the announcement of a third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley, but as the fight nears there is more of a buzz and with Bradley’s new trainer Teddy Atlas in the mix, Pacquiao’s shoulder surgery and layoff, it has made Bradley the most live he’s ever been against Pacquiao.

Pacquiao’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach spoke to the boxing press during the final press conference of Pacquiao/Bradley to give his thoughts on the fight and whether Bradley’s trainer Teddy Atlas can make a difference.

“I would like a knockout, I love knockouts,” Freddie Roach stated to the boxing press. “We have to expect a decision; Bradley’s a tough guy, very durable.  You have to expect the fight to go 12 rounds, but I want Manny to dominate the 12 rounds.” 

When asked if Teddy could make a difference with Bradley in this fight, Freddie was hopeful that Teddy’s influence could make it more of an action fight but was dismissive on whether Teddy could change Bradley.

“Hopefully, he will bring a little more offense to the game, maybe exchange a little bit more and maybe give a better fight than before,” Roach said.

“But I think he (Atlas) is trying to make him more of a counter puncher, but I don’t think he can change what Tim Bradley is.”

Throughout the promotion, Freddie has thrown verbal jabs at Teddy, insisting even that he should return to commentating.  Atlas has refused to trade barbs with Freddie, but there is definitely disdain from the two trainers stemming back from an incident when Freddie took over the training duties of one of Atlas’s fighters in former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer.

“I don’t like Teddy, and he don’t like me,” Freddie said.

“He says he’s a better trainer than me, but we’ll see.  But the thing is I don’t think it’s who is the better trainer, I think I have a better fighter than he does and that’s what’s going to win the fight.

“I don’t know why Teddy got mad at me for when I took over Michael Moorer, but he quit with Michael Moorer and he gave me a lot of shit after that.  But he’s been an announcer for a long time and I think that’s what he is.” 

As for Manny Pacquiao, there have been media reports suggesting that Manny has not looked good in camp, but Freddie has insisted that Pacquiao is peaking at the right time and was very pleased with what he saw in the last week of training camp.

“This last week I’m finally happy with what’s he (Pacquiao’s) doing.  The last two days of sparring really sparked me, because he went after his sparring partners and dropped one of them.

“We haven’t had that in a long time.  He’s looking like the old Manny Pacquiao that used to sit down on his punching and firing hard.  I like what I see,” Roach said.