LAS VEGAS – Just like before, Freddie Roach still believes reigning welterweight champion Tim Bradley will again avoid engaging Manny Pacquiao when he stakes his World Boxing Organization (WBO) on Saturday night (Sunday, Manila time) at the MGM Grand.
The longtime Pacquiao trainer said he sees the American once again trying to box his way out of harm's way against the 35-year-old Filipino in their rematch set for 12 rounds.
“No,” was his curt reply when asked if he expects Bradley to go toe-to-toe as he sat beside Pacquiao during the grand arrival for the challenger in this gambling capital of the world. “He’s going to box more.”
Bradley tried to go mano-a-mano with Pacquiao in their first title showdown in 2012 and nearly paid for it when he almost got knocked down by the former pound-for-pound fighter early in the match.
But the Palm Springs, California native adjusted in the latter rounds when he kept his distance from the Pacman, eventually gaining the nod of two of the three judges in a controversial split decision.
Roach said they now know what to do against the unbeaten champion, saying the stunning loss was a learning experience for him and Pacquiao.
“It was a good lesson for us,” he admitted, while stressing Pacquiao will try to press Bradley from the opening bell onwards, something which they failed to do in the first meeting.
“The first six rounds of the first fight was so easy,“ said Roach, adding that was before Pacquiao started to hold his punches against Bradley.