BEVERLY HiLLS – Teddy Atlas likened the coming third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley to football’s Super Bowl, describing the two as boxing’s version of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
And the veteran trainer of Bradley made known where he's putting his money.
“I’m taking Brady,” said Atlas as he ended his three-minute talk before mediamen DURING Tuesday’s (Wednesday, Manila time) press conference for the April 9 world welterweight championship fight between the longtime rivals.
Quick on his toes, Freddie Roach, the handler of Pacquiao, didn’t let Atlas off the hook when it was his turn to speak on stage at the Crystal ballroom of the Beverly Hills hotel here.
“I’m from New England and I like the Patriots a little bit, but you can have Brady,” countered Roach, which drew laughter from his audience as the five-time Trainer of the Year walked away.
The 32-year-old Bradley later joined the bantering between the two trainers by personally mocking the 55-year-old Roach on the microphone.
“I might not be Brady, but he’s no (Bill) Belichick,” Bradley said, repeating the line thrice, referring to the multi-titled head coach of the Patriots.
But the bantering aside, Atlas, the former protégé of the late great trainer Cus D’Amato, said football players like Brady and Peyton always make the most out of the opportunity once they make it to the Super Bowl.
The same is true for both Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) and Bradley (33-1-1-1, 13 KOs), he said.
“These fighters staying on that analogy, Peyton Manning and (Tom) Brady, they’ve been to a lot of Super Bowls and these are what they’re in this business for, getting to the top, to show that they are the best,” he said.
“We have the opportunity to fight a fighter in Manny Pacquiao who has been one of the best, most dynamic fighters of the last decade.”
The 59-year-old Atlas, who also works as commentator for ESPN, thinks they’re up against all odds, but these are the type of fights great boxers live for.
“We look forward to it, we look forward to the challenge, a tremendous challenge, a difficult challenge,” he said. “But we’re grateful for the opportunity to be in another Super Bowl.”