Joel Diaz: ‘Bradley is not a Mayweather, but I can make him fight like Mayweather when it comes to a Marquez’
Juan Manuel Marquez, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, and Tim Bradley on Saturday night in Las Vegas (Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank)
By Chris Robinson
While many eyes were fixated upon the action between Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios this past Saturday night in Las Vegas, it’s safe to say that very few people could have had as vested of an interest in the fight as did trainer and former contender Joel Diaz.
Watching Alvarado overcome a rocky start on his way towards a decision victory in his rematch with Rios, Diaz surely knows that either man could very well find themselves in the ring with his star fighter, Timothy Bradley, in the near future.
The buzz on Bradley is at a peak, as he is still soaking up the aftermath that came from his grueling points victory over Ruslan Provodnikov just two weekends back.
With the dust from Rios-Alvarado II settling, Diaz is getting a clearer picture of what the forthcoming moves may be for Bradley and he seems eager, showing particular interest in a match with Mexico City’s Juan Manuel Marquez.
I was able to have some dialogue with Diaz before and after the madness that Alvarado and Rios produced, and, as always, he was more than gracious with his time.
Read below for Diaz’s take on confronting Bradley after the Provodnikov scuffle, the best way to fight Marquez, his brother Julio’s preparation for his April 27th date with Amir Khan, the Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero match, and why he wasn’t overly-impressed with either Alvarado or Rios on Saturday.
Being in the corner for Tim Bradley’s war with Ruslan Provodnikov…
“Well, it was pretty intense. It was nerve-wrecking, because a tough fighter like Provodnikov, man, it keeps me on the edge of my seat. The day of the fight, somewhere in my mind, I knew he was going to try to do things on his own and he did. Something he wasn’t supposed to. But in a way, I’m glad he did and I’m glad that he learned his lesson. We could have made it a boring fight, he could have boxed all night, but the way he closed the fight was a good way for him. He wanted to prove to the world that Timothy Bradley is a warrior. He can fight, he can bang; he got hurt a little bit, but he came out with a victory.”
Speaking with Bradley about his tactics during the fight…
“Yeah, I did, right away. The next morning I came to his room and we happened to watch the fight again on TV that morning. I told him, I said ‘Tim, you can’t be going on like that, trying to prove something when you’re hurt.’ I mean, especially in the first round. My strategy of a fight, it’s always, one and two rounds we feel him out, be cautious, try to break him down and then we start working. That’s what I was reminding Tim. ‘This is not the fight we worked for.’ The first two rounds is what we worked for. Timing, distance, power. But he decided to go in there and bang with him in the first round.”
Training camp for his brother Julio as he prepares for his April 27th clash with Amir Khan…
“Man, I couldn’t be happier. I see Julio’s improvement every day. Julio has not had an off day. Julio has been looking good every day in his sparring, training, and his discipline is 100% like never before. Because he wants this fight. He wants to be in the mix and he’s giving it one more run at this weight. He cannot let go of this opportunity. The doors were open after that Shawn Porter fight and after we got that fight, we’re not going to let it go. We’re going to take advantage of every single round in that fight.”
HBO cutting ties with Golden Boy Promotions…
“You know what? I never thought about it. As long as my fighters are fighting on a network and they are getting exposure, I really don’t look at the HBO or the Showtime [situation]. At the end of the day the promoters are the ones who negotiate the networks. I just focus on training my fighters and focus on building them up to win the fight.”
The best tactics for Bradley to use in a fight vs. Marquez…
“That’s a good question, man. Hey, Marquez is a counter-puncher. He’s a great counter-puncher and I would have to go back and watch Mayweather-Marquez. Bradley is not a Mayweather, but I can make him fight like Mayweather when it comes to a Marquez. Be very technical. Timmy can be a counter-puncher too. Marquez is a great counter-puncher and he’s got power. It’s going to be a strategic fight.”
When asked if he feels Marquez is an improved fighter since the Mayweather defeat, largely due in part to his work with strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia…
“You know what? Styles make fights. That’s what I think. I think if he fought Mayweather again, he would run into the same problem. I don’t see a difference. As a matter of fact, he’s getting older. A lot of wear and tear. And Tim’s young. They have a lot of similarities. Tim is a counter-puncher, he’s a little faster, he’s a little younger. I think Marquez is very, very dangerous and you can see how he knocked out Manny Pacquiao. Just don’t run into him. Box him.”
Favoring Floyd Mayweather to find a way to defeat Robert Guerrero…
“That’s a good fight, because you’ve seen Guerrero; he’s a big boy. He’s a strong, big boy in that division and he’s going to try to do the same thing that he did against Berto. But the difference is that Mayweather is a lot slicker. At the end of the day it will be a great fight, but I think Mayweather will pull it out.”
Mike Alvarado’s inspiring victory of Brandon Rios in their rematch…
“He fought smart this time. His last fight, he decided to stay in there toe to toe against Brandon. Brandon is a one-dimensional fighter, he just comes forward. If you box him, you can make it an easy fight. But if you stay in front of him, he’s very dangerous. Plus, Alvarado, he finally got the hint that he needed to box.”
Liking Bradley’s chances against either Rios or Provodnikov…
“Tim’s too fast for those guys. Neither of those guys will beat Tim. This is the first time I’ve seen them fight live and they’re too slow for Tim. Tim’s too slick.”
PLEASE CHECK OUT more Rios-Alvarado Fight week videos below…
Bonus comments from Joel Diaz on Bradley vs. Marquez, HBO vs. Golden Boy, Mayweather vs. Guerrero
Juan Manuel Marquez on Rios’ decision to work with Angel Heredia and his rematch with Alvarado
Andre Ward talks Rios-Alvarado II, Floyd Mayweather’s comments, the HBO-Golden Boy drama, more
‘Everybody wants my spot’ – Tim Bradley on the Provodnikov victory, Rios-Alvarado II, and his future
Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado II Official Weigh-In [Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas - 3.30.2013]
All-access with 2012 US Olympian Jose Ramirez ahead of 2nd pro bout [Interview and mitt work]
Bob Arum on Rios-Alvarado II, the return of Manny Pacquiao, and Tim Bradley’s war with Provodnikov
Behind the scenes with Brandon Rios and Robert Garcia in Las Vegas ['Aint nobody got time for that']
*** Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez photo courtesy of Naoki Fukuda
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com and www.HustleBoss.com