Filipino icon all hype, says Bradley campBy Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LAS VEGAS—Someone thinks Manny Pacquiao is all hype.
Claiming that the Filipino superstar is a product of “very careful matchmaking,” Mexican trainer Joel Diaz insisted during a roundtable discussion Thursday that Pacquiao is running out of gas and is bound to be stunned by his boxer, Timothy Bradley, on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
The 39-year-old Diaz, a former world contender and brother of former world champions Antonio and Julio Diaz, said Top Rank has carefully chosen Paquiao’s opponents over the years to ensure victory.
Diaz, who has been with Bradley since 2004 as trainer as well as strength and conditioning coach rolled into one, said that when Pacquiao moved up in weight, he was matched up with big-name fighters who were either past their prime or coming from a beating.
Obviously, Diaz had Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez— who gave Pacquiao a rough time in November last year—in mind.
Diaz also questioned the fact that many of Pacquiao’s victories were eked out at catchweights, as in his fights with De La Hoya, Cotto and Margarito.
Diaz said Bradley, on the other hand, did not get as much hype despite fighting opponents in their prime.
Having studied Pacquiao’s fights since 2009, when he had to buy pay-per-view, Diaz said he noticed a drop in his performances, especially against Marquez, whom he rewarded with the victory in his scorecard.
Diaz also noted that at 33, Pacquiao is far from being a spring chicken and, with 59 fights to his credit, is already feeling the effects of wear and tear.