ARUM WARNS PACQUIAO OF 'TOUGH FIGHT' / ROACH: BRADLEY WILL FALL

[PHOTO - Bob Arum]

MANILA, MAY 11, 2012 (PHILSTAR) By Abac Cordero - Bob Arum had been to both camps, watching the fighters in training.

There’s Manny Pacquiao on one side, and Timothy Bradley on the other. On June 9 they slug it out for the former’s WBO welterweight crown.

Pacquiao is Arum’s cash cow, the apple of his eyes. No wonder he’s issuing this warning, so he won’t be blamed later for not doing it at all.

“Manny better be ready,” Arum told The STAR over the phone.

“Bradley is in such great, great shape,” added the chief of Top Rank which owns the promotional rights over Pacquiao and Bradley.

It’s not that Pacquiao’s isn’t ready or he’s not doing what it takes for him to be ready. Arum is simply saying that Bradley is no pushover.

“It’s going to be a tough fight,” he added.

It’s not a tough fight at all if you look at the odds, swaying at 3-1 or a little over, for the 33-year-old fighting superstar from the Philippines.

But Arum believes that anything can happen on June 9 at the MGM Grand, and he’s making sure Pacquiao is reminded of what he’s up against.

Bradley at 5’6” is an inch shorter than Pacquiao, but at 28 is five years younger.

Bradley, who looks more like a bodybuilder, carries a perfect record of 28-0 with only a dozen knockouts. Pacquiao is at 54-3-2 with 38 knockouts but none in his last four fights.

“Believe me, it’s not going to be easy,” Arum said.

Meanwhile, the highly-awaited rematch between IBF and WBA junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan on May 19 is off.

Peterson, who took the titles away from Khan with a controversial decision last December, just failed a doping test, and should be stripped of the titles.

Khan was surprised with the development, and is in fact hoping to get a fight with someone else later in June. He was in Baguio training under Freddie Roach last month.

Bradley will fall like Hatton, says Roach By Joaquin Henson The Philippine Star Updated May 10, 2012 12:00 AM 5 comments to this post

[PHOTO- Tim Bradley at the scales]

MANILA, Philippines - It took Manny Pacquiao only two rounds to get rid of Ricky Hatton in 2009. According to trainer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s next opponent Tim Bradley fights just like Hatton but has a stronger chin so the unbeaten challenger called “Desert Storm” will likely last up to six rounds before capitulating.

Pacquiao stakes his WBO welterweight crown against Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on June 9. The 33-year-old Filipino was installed an early 5-1 favorite by Las Vegas oddsmakers to whip Bradley.

There’s no doubt in Roach’s mind that Bradley will end up flat on his back like Hatton. “He fights just like Hatton with a stronger chin,” said Roach. “He thinks he’s the best conditioned boxer in the world. For sure, he works out everyday. From what I know, he walks around at 165 pounds with very little body fat. He’s all muscle. I don’t think he’ll come in lighter than Manny.”

Bradley has scaled 138 to 140 pounds in eight of his last nine outings. He was at his heaviest when he weighed 147 in outpointing Luis Abregu two years ago. Last November, Bradley checked in at 140 to stop Joel Casamayor in the eighth round. It was his first win by knockout in the last 10 bouts, indicating lack of power. Bradley’s KO rate is 41 percent compared to Pacquiao’s 70 percent.

“Not much power,” said Roach. “Not much footwork. He’s not shifty. One thing, he’s never been beaten. He’s a tough guy. He’ll come forward. There’s no quit in him. He doesn’t cut easy. It’s his opponents who get cut because he likes to charge in with his head. This guy will fight ‘til the end. He’ll force Manny to knock him out. I guarantee it’ll be an all-action fight.”

Bradley, 28, was floored twice in his fight against Kendall Holt in 2009. He went down from a counter left hook in the first round and fell once more from a counter right hook in the 12th. To his credit, Bradley survived both knockdowns to score a unanimous decision over Holt. Roach is aware of Bradley’s resiliency and he’ll remind Pacquiao repeatedly not to take him lightly.

Roach said Bradley’s style is tailor-fit for Pacquiao and dismissed speculation he’ll turn counterpuncher to simulate Juan Manuel Marquez who gave the Filipino icon trouble in three fights although the Mexican never won a single encounter. “Someone asked if we’ll be ready if Bradley turns counterpuncher,” said Roach. “That’s not going to happen. A fighter doesn’t change styles just like that. Bradley will fight Manny the only way he knows how and Manny will be ready for him.”

Roach said when Pacquiao left Manila for Los Angeles last Saturday, he was right on training schedule. “We’re on course,” he said. “When Manny showed up in Baguio, he wanted to do more than he should. That’s just like Manny. He’s in excellent shape. We did four and six rounds of sparring in Baguio. In L.A., we’ll do 10 then 12 leading up to the fight. We’ve got four weeks of training in L.A. and he’ll be 100 percent by fight night. Everything is proceeding smoothly. No distractions, no playing darts, no playing cards, no playing basketball, no playing pool. It’s all Bible study now ‘til late. Nothing’s changed with Manny in the gym. He’s so focused. He pushes himself just as hard as before.”

Roach said Bradley, a vegan, boasts of being in tip-top physical condition. “It’s new blood going against old blood,” said Bradley, quoted by the Wall Street Journal. “I’m in my prime. I don’t think I can go vegan year round. But for fights, I have to do it. I’ll still be a vegan even after the weigh-in.” Bradley said he eats strictly vegan for three months leading to a fight. He began the diet in 2008.

Roach said Bradley belongs to the new generation of fighters and Pacquiao agreed to face a younger opponent to prove he ducks nobody. “Some people ask why risk fighting a new generation guy like Bradley,” said Roach. “That’s Manny’s call. He wants to prove he’s still the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter and if that means taking a risk against Bradley, then he’ll do it.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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