Timothy Bradley's trainer Joel Diaz is a confident man heading into his fighter's April 12 rematch with Manny Pacquiao, and tells RING Magazine in their latest issue that Pacquiao simply can't fight if you make him think.
"Manny, if you make him think, he doesn't know how to fight," Diaz told the magazine. "But if you just come straight to him, he's going to demolish you. When he fought Margarito, Margarito was just coming forward. When he fought Cotto, Cotto was just coming forward. When he fought Joshua Clottey, Clottey was just coming forward. When he fought Ricky Hatton, Hatton was just coming forward. But when you make him think, and you've got footwork, he gets lost every time."
Diaz may have a point. Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO) has really only struggled in the last 10 years or so with two guys: Erik Morales in their first fight in 2005, and Juan Manuel Marquez in their 2004, 2008, 2011, and 2012 bouts, from featherweight to welterweight. Bradley (31-0, 12 KO) is the only other fighter to beat Manny in that time frame, though many would argue that Pacquiao didn't even have real trouble in that fight, let alone lose.
And at any rate, of course Pacquiao doesn't do as well with guys who can box and use the ring as he does against flat-footed brawlers like Margarito or Hatton, or statues like Clottey, or even the Cotto he fought in late 2009. That probably goes without saying. Most fighters, no matter how good they are, don't look as good against good boxers as they do against good brawlers.
Can Bradley and Diaz beat Pacquiao by out-thinking him?