BRANDON Rios made Tim Bradley look every bit a rejuvenated fighter in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title fight two months.
While not totally taking anything away from Bradley’s ninth-round knockout win at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas last Nov. 7, Freddie Roach said it was obvious the 29-year-old Rios was not in the best of shape for the 12-round match.
‘With all that fat on Rios, I had never seen him look like that before, so I don’t think Bradley had that much in front of him,” said the trainer of Manny Pacquiao, who battles Bradley for the third time on April 9 in what serves as the comeback fight of the legendary Filipino southpaw.
“Bradley looked good, but…,” added the 55-year-old Roach in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Roach knows whereof he speaks.
Pacquiao fought Rios in Macau more than two years ago in a non-title fight which the ‘Pacman’ won by unanimous decision. No knockdown was registered the entire bout.
But against Bradley, a fighter not known exactly for his punching power, Rios proved no match and went on to suffer the first and only stoppage in his 11-year pro career.
A former lightweight champion, the native of Lubbock, Texas retired shortly after the loss.
The win by the 32-year-old Bradley (33-1-1-1, 13 KOs) was his first under new trainer Teddy Atlas. While a lot has already hyped about the change in Bradley’s style under Atlas, Roach is not ready to jump into conclusions.
“Bradley did what he had to do,” said Roach, a five-time Trainer of the Year. “Teddy Atlas is a good motivator, and Bradley fought a good fight. I don’t think you can give Atlas credit yet.”