By Alex Burgos
Posted: March 11, 2016
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing
On Saturday, April 9, 2016, Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) faces off against Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) for the third time.
The difference this time around is that Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach will be game planning against Bradley and a new trainer–Teddy Atlas.
According to Roach, he’s had a rivalry with Atlas that dates back nearly 18 years when he was hired to replace Atlas as Michael Moorer’s trainer.
“When he quit as Michael Moorer’s trainer and then [Moorer’s manager] John Davimos hired me, [Teddy] came to the hotel the night before I was announced and beat [Davimos] up,” said Roach (per Boxing Scene).
“He looked at me, and I said ‘I’m not John Davimos’ and I stood there and he walked away,” said Roach.
Both men have come a long way since then. In Atlas’ first assignment alongside Bradley last November–where Desert Storm stopped Brandon Rios in nine rounds–he dropped one of the most spirited speeches in between rounds.
One person who wasn’t amused or entertained by Atlas’ speech was Roach, who claims that Atlas’ persona and fiery speeches are all an act.
“He knows he’s on TV, he knows when the red light is on him and I think he likes acting,” said Roach in a recent video interview with Top Rank.
In the same video, Atlas responds to Roach with a few choice nuggets, including criticizing Roach’s demeanor before Pacquiao’s biggest fight against Floyd Mayweather last May.
“I should know when the pressure, the light is on. I better know when it’s on,” said Atlas. “I better know when it’s time to say what needs to be said to make a difference.”
“At the end of the day, maybe the most important difference with me and that fellow that you just talked about [Roach] is I’m not a guy that’s going to be taking selfies in the runway before my fighter is going into the fight of the millennium,” said Atlas.
Bradley, who was ecstatic with the results of working with Atlas the first time around, backed his trainer up as well.
“He probably does know when the red light is on him. But, I can tell you this, he’s a better teacher than Freddie is,” said Bradley. “Freddie’s not the brightest one of the bunch.”
Although they have a combined 70 years of training experience between them, this fight will mark the first time Roach and Atlas have ever faced each other from opposite corners.
Who do you think will win the rubber match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley? Let us know with a comment below.