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Bradley trainer fires back at Ariza, Roach

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MANILA, Philippines – Joel Diaz, the trainer of unbeaten American boxer Timothy Bradley, defended his boxer against statements made by some members of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s team.

Pacquiao chose to fight Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Following Pacquiao’s decision, his trainer, Freddie Roach, admitted that he was concerned about Bradley’s dirty tactics.

For his part, Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, belittled Bradley by saying the Filipino boxer’s sparring partners were better than him.

Diaz fired back at Roach and Ariza, saying “a lot of people” constantly underestimate his fighter.

“I was a fighter myself and when I train a fighter, I train him to fight clean,” Diaz said, adding that he was offended by Roach’s allegations.

“Never, from day one, has our intention been to be dirty, because that’s just not me. That’s not my nature. That’s very offensive for me. If I ever see my fighter or if my fighter ever has any intentions of using dirty tactics, believe me, I’ll bring it up to his attention because that’s not me,” he added.

Bradley has gotten a reputation for being a dirty fighter because of his tendency to lead with his head, but Diaz said Bradley does not headbutt his opponents intentionally.

“It’s just bad luck. It’s just his style, maybe the way he steps in,” Diaz said. “But never in my years that I have trained Timothy, has he ever mentioned using his head intentionally.”

As for Ariza’s comments that Pacquiao’s sparring partners were better than Bradley, Diaz had a rejoinder.

“Let me just tell you, if he has better fighters in his gym, better fighters than Tim Bradley, how come nobody knows them? How come they’re not world champions?” Diaz asked.

“Alex Ariza can say whatever he wants. He doesn’t even know Tim Bradley. He’s never been in a camp with Tim Bradley,” he added.

Diaz also got in a few potshots of his own as he questioned Pacquiao’s continued passion for boxing, especially after reports came out that the Filipino boxer was thinking about retirement following his bout against Bradley.

“Manny Pacquiao’s been in this business plenty of time already. He’s been at the top of his game for many years. After a while, his mind and his body gets tired,” he said.

“If he’s thinking about retiring after this fight or the next, it’s because somewhere in his mind, he just doesn’t feel that passion for the sport anymore.”

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Comment by hotshuts — February 16, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

Manny Paquiao By TKO in 9 Rounds

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