Freddie Roach says Manny Pacquiao is promising a KO if he fights Timothy Bradley again in November. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
reddie Roach was interviewed on ESPN Los Angeles to discuss, of course, Saturday's Pacquiao vs Bradley fight, and said that if the rematch should happen (which he expects) in November, Manny Pacquiao has promised a knockout to take things out of the judges' hands.
"It's really funny because at the post-fight press conference Manny Pacquiao said ‘I can't wait for the rematch' and a lot of people talked about the fight being in Texas or moving the fight and Manny said ‘no I love fighting in Vegas, I want the fight here in Vegas' and Manny says ‘I will knock him out next time.' The first time I ever heard Manny Pacquiao predict a knockout in my life. ... If the decision would've went right, the rematch clause would've been thrown away because it was too wide of a margin to have a rematch. The fight I want next is (Floyd) Mayweather of course. Bradley is a brave, brave guy but I don't see Bradley improving in that short of a time. I see the same result. I will get my wish because Manny promised me he will knock him out and usually when Manny promises something he does it."
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Personally, and I admit I'm not Hall of Famer Freddie Roach (who should also be in the HoF for BSers, and I mean that in a nice way), I think Tim Bradley can do better in a rematch, and no matter how I saw this fight, and I thought Manny won and deserved the W, I don't count out Tim Bradley if they fight again.
I'm not sure that Pacquiao, who turns 34 in December, can do better. Maybe he can -- maybe he can be a bit more focused. But if he starts chasing, and starts going after Bradley too aggressively, what's to stop those bad legs from cramping up again?
Look, my view is we did see a good Manny on Saturday. But basically everyone agrees that Manny wisely reserved energy in that fight and fought hard late, not so much early in rounds especially down the stretch. He did that because he should be doing that. Manny's legs are not there anymore. Mayweather doesn't have the same legs he used to, either. I don't care how good you are, your legs are going to start slipping in your mid-30s.
In his past two fights, Manny has had some trouble figuring out ways to compensate for that. Against Bradley, they figured out a plan of attack that saved them as best they could. I don't buy that Manny looked better than he has since 2009. I just don't see it. He looked smarter, and more studied, but this is not the guy who smashed Hatton and Cotto. It's just not. He does not have that spring or that explosiveness.
I do think he can vary his attack a bit better, though. Tim Bradley's not too hard to find in there -- he'll stand and fight, move when he has to, and then come back and stand and fight. Manny can't run him down anymore, but he can beat him toe-to-toe, which is what I think happened often enough on Saturday that I saw Manny winning the fight.
Personally, I haven't gone "ROBBERY! ROBBERY! ROBBERY!" for a reason: I didn't think Tim fought poorly. I thought it was competitive (that doesn't mean I think Bradley did or should have won), I just scored it wide for Manny. I thought it was good, high-level boxing on both sides. I know some people really think this was 11 to 1. Like I said before, that's as nuts to me as 7 to 5 Bradley. There are at least two very clear Bradley rounds in this fight. At the very, very least. 7 to 5 Bradley is giving him every single close round. So is 11 to Manny.
Bradley can do better, too. Myself, I would prefer seeing Pacquiao-Marquez IV right now. I still think that's a better fight, I think it's a more attractive fight that will make more money and sell more tickets, and I want to see them do it again before they're both too damn old. Pacquiao-Bradley is there next year if Manny beats JMM. Marquez-Bradley is there if JMM wins. Tim Bradley's gonna be there to fight next year. Will Marquez? Will Manny by the end of the year?
And forget Mayweather. It's not happening.
Honestly, I think both Freddie and Manny have handled this well. They're not running around like chickens with their heads cut off screaming about conspiracies and fixes and all that stuff. They just believe Manny won the fight, and they've said so. I think that shows some real dignity.