Peñalosa says Bradley has no chance

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Former WBC superflyweight and WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Peñalosa said the other day WBO welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley has no chance of beating challenger Manny Pacquiao in their scheduled 12-round rubber match in Las Vegas on April 9 and described the American’s recent demolition of Brandon Rios an unconvincing win.

“First of all, Rios has limited talent,” said Peñalosa. “Second, Rios was badly out of shape for the fight. Anyone could’ve beaten him. Bradley just isn’t in Manny’s level. He’s calling himself the new Bradley because of one win with (trainer) Teddy Atlas. After fighting Manny twice, do I think Bradley has improved? I’m sure Atlas has helped but how much Bradley has improved is a question mark. His confidence is high but I can’t imagine anyone thinking Bradley has a chance against Manny just because he beat Rios.”

Peñalosa said Bradley isn’t the same as he was in the first bout against Pacquiao in 2012. “He’s had some mileage,” said Peñalosa. “His body took a beating in the (Ruslan) Provodnikov fight and the rematch with Manny. I think he’s a battered fighter. Against Rios, Bradley attacked the body. He can’t do that with Manny because Bradley has to come close to hit the body. And you know what will happen when you come close to Manny. You’ll get hit. Bradley’s not a puncher. He’s not a one-punch knockout artist. He can’t hurt Manny with his body shots. With Rios, Bradley charged in and attacked the body. Rios went from 147 at the weigh-in to 170 for the fight so he was slow and a perfect target. Bradley couldn’t miss.”

Peñalosa predicted that if Bradley turns aggressive against Pacquiao, the fight won’t last the distance. “I think Bradley will run,” he said. “He knows he can’t hurt Manny like he hurt Rios. Manny will hit back and if he lands, I’m not sure Bradley can take it.”

Peñalosa said Pacquiao’s plan of training four weeks in the Philippines and four weeks in the US for Bradley isn’t ideal. “If this is Manny’s last fight, he’d like to give a strong performance,” he said. “There’s a lot at stake. I agree with Mike (Koncz) that Manny should train longer in the US because that’s where he can focus. In the Philippines, there are too many distractions. He’s running for Senator and he won’t be able to turn down invitations for public appearances. There are people around him asking for help. There are projects he wants to do. How can he focus strictly on training with so many things happening around him? But it’s Manny’s call. He knows he has to be in tip-top condition to beat Bradley who’ll be well-trained for sure. Manny won’t let our country and our people down.”

Pacquiao said after the Bradley rubber match, only Floyd Mayweather can get Pacquiao back into the ring. “I was a boxer once and I know the most difficult thing is to retire because you miss boxing, you look for it,” he said. “I suppose if Manny loses in the elections, he’ll go back to boxing. But he’s not going to lose. He announced that Bradley will be his last opponent. But I think if Mayweather calls him out, he won’t back off. There’s too much money to be made in a rematch. The only fighter who can un-retire Manny is Mayweather.”

Peñalosa said he is busy supervising his eight boxing gyms all over town with the main sweat shop at Hemady. He’s opening a new gym in Makati on Jan. 25 and another in Tarlac on Jan. 30. A Las Pinas gym is now under construction and should be finished in two months. Every gym has at least five trainers.

“In all, we maintain about 45 trainers, 30 of them are retired fighters and 10 active,” he said. “We welcome fighters from different stables to come and earn some extra money training. Boxers with Aljoe Jaro and Ryan Gabriel come to us after their own workouts. But not too many active fighters are trainers because they’re usually too tired to do work in the gym. Some of our former fighters who are now trainers are Edgar Gabejan and Renren Tesorio. We have a place to sleep and eat in every gym and we give free rice to our staff.”

Peñalosa said his nephew Dodie Boy, Jr. is now campaigning as a superfeatherweight in the US. Dodie Boy, Jr., 24, has a fight in Virginia tomorrow. Dodie Boy, Jr. and his father Dodie Boy, Sr., a former IBF lightflyweight and flyweight champion, left Manila last year to explore opportunities in the US with manager Cameron Dunkin who also handles WBO superbantamweight king Nonito Donaire, Jr. Dodie Boy, Jr. has so far won four in a row since his relocation and his record is now 17-0, with 13 KOs.

Dodie Boy, Jr.’s younger brother Dave, 22, is in Manila and awaiting the approval of a US visa. Dave, a superbantamweight, has a 9-0 record, with 6 KOs. “Dave lives with our family in Multinational Village,” said Peñalosa. “He hasn’t fought since July 2014 but he’s been training. Once he gets his US visa, he’ll join his father and brother in Virginia where they’re now staying. There’s a lot of good sparring in Virginia and Cameron has been able to arrange fights for Dodie Boy, Jr. My advice to Dodie Boy, Sr. is to find a top trainer to work with like Robert Garcia or Buddy McGirt. I think Freddie (Roach) is too busy to take care of Dodie Boy, Jr. and Dave. The kids need a trainer whom they will listen to, who will discipline them. I think Dodie Boy, Sr. is an excellent trainer but he needs help now that they’re in the US. As an adviser to my nephews, I’m very proud of them. They carry the name Peñalosa and I’m hoping they go far in their boxing careers.”

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