"I'm ready. I don't care if Manny Pacquiao brings the whole Philippines with him, we are going to fight. And it's only gonna be Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao in there; just them two. I'm ready to guide my fighter and motivate my fighter. Whatever it takes to get that victory. We are gonna go April 12th and fight, and we are gonna fight like it's our last fight because it's a fight that really left a big dark cloud in our life... Tim Bradley is unstoppable. He may not be the greatest fighter as far as what some consider to be the package of a fighter, but he has the determination, heart, and a lot of balls," stated Joel Diaz, world-class trainer of Timothy Bradley, who talked about their upcoming April 12 rematch with multi-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Check it out!
PC: You have a growing stable of fighters. We saw you in Jamie Kavanagh's corner on Fox Sports the other night. What did you think of his performance?
JD: Well, this is actually the first time...he's been training with me for 3 fights and this is the first time I have had him at 100%. I made a few changes in him, but it still was the first time, and a fighter tends to go back to his old habits when he feels uncomfortable trying new things. At some point, I knew he would go back to his old habits, but he did better than the last time. He pulled through and he keeps getting better and better.
PC: When you take on a new fighter, do you feel there is a certain timetable of time in the gym where he should start adapting the things you are implementing in him, or is it actual ring time and more of a fight by fight basis?
JD: Those habits are hard to break, but definitely in the gym. In the gym is where we try to correct the worst habits that they have. It's like Jessie and Diego Magdaleno; they had bad habits as far as lunging in and not having the right distance to punch and not extending the full punch and throwing it halfway. Those things we started from the bottom and corrected them. We do a lot of work in the gym; a lot of mitt work. And even when they are sparring and they bring back those old habits, I stop them right there like, "Okay, you just did something I don't like you to do and I want you to correct it." So even when they are sparring, I'll stop the sparring session to correct it.
PC: You have been working with my man Cub Swanson for awhile and he always praises you for the work that you do with him. Is it different working with a MMA fighter?
JD: It's not hard because I just focus on the boxing. I just work their boxing. It was hard at first because of their stance. They move their feet and their stance is constantly changing from lefty to righty. It took me awhile to adapt to his style. Like I said, I don't change fighters, I work with their style and try to make their styles better.
PC: You received a lot of accolades last year. What was it like to finally start to get the recognition, not only for your fighters, but also for the work you have put in?
JD: You know, it's really something that's not in my mind. I just put in my work in the gym. I go to the gym and I put in my work and I value my work. I take a lot of pride in what I do. I just make sure my fighters are in top shape, they are well prepared, and perform well. I'm not really looking for trophies or recognition. I'm just making sure that my fighters are successful and they do something for themselves. I don't want to see any of my fighters finish their career like when they started. I want to be able to see every one of my fighters take advantage of this hard sport and create something out of it, so that when they retire, they are good. They don't have to come back to fight again for chump change. Establish a career to where they are set for the rest of their life.
PC: That's a great point because the game has changed so much, these guys don't get as many opportunities on the big stage as guys in previous generations had. Some of our best fighter from earlier generations had double digit losses and that was fine. You can't get away with that nowadays.
JD: Definitely. When these fighters perform now, they have to show up every time. I mean, now, even one loss can either break them or make them stronger. Jamie Kavanagh came off of a loss in his last fight and it was just a difficult loss for him because everything happened so fast. He was confused because he brought a trainer with him that had been his trainer; life-time trainer. They wanted me to train him, and I understand; he was very protective of his fighter because they came from the Wild Card and from what I have heard, Wild Card is no longer a gym; it's a museum. Over there, it's like they are trying to take fighters from here and there; it's like a snake pit. That's what they call it. And I say, "No, I'm not like that. I'm here to help you." It was hard for me to tell Jamie to do something in the gym when the other guy was always in the middle. It was like a tug-of-war. He was pulling one way and I was pulling the other. Jamie was listening to me because I was in charge, but he was also listening to the other guy because he's loyal to him and that's the guy that brought him along. So it was hard for him until him and his father made the decision. They were like, "You know what? We are only gonna have one person run the show; one person to be the leader and that's gonna be you." I was like, "Okay." I started making the changes; a lot of changes were made and I can see in his performance that he's getting better. He was happy, and a happy fighter always performs better. He was happy mentally and he didn't have any pressure. He had a team in the corner that he could rely on and mentally, he wasn't focused on something being wrong in his corner. Everything was great and that makes him perform better.
PC: It's so much easier when a fighter only has to focus on fighting, you know?
JD: That's right!
PC: Timothy Bradley will be fighting Manny Pacquiao again and I'm sure both of you guys have a chip on your shoulder from the reaction of the first fight.
JD: Of course. I'm ready. I'm ready. I don't care if Manny Pacquiao brings the whole Philippines with him, we are going to fight. And it's only gonna be Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao in there; just them two. I'm ready to guide my fighter and motivate my fighter. Whatever it takes to get that victory. We are gonna go April 12th and fight, and we are gonna fight like it's our last fight because it's a fight that really left a big dark cloud in our life. It left a mark that was very negative. It was a very negative moment in our life after the Pacquiao fight. Now, it is what it is and we are gonna give it our all. As a matter of fact, 5 minutes ago, I went to Timothy's gym. I flew in from Boston to Palm Springs. My wife picked me up from the airport at 12 and drove me straight to Timothy's gym at 1:00. Timothy was training at 1:00, and at 3:00, we finished. So then, I went to my other gym to train my other fighters. I finished at 4:45. So then, I called Timothy's wife and I said, "Where is Timothy?" She said, "He's at the gym." I said, "Doing what?" She goes, "I don't know." So I go to check up on him and he's still not done. From 1:00 to 4:55, he's still working out. I say, "What are you doing?" He goes, "Coach I'm good." I said, "No, you're not. You gotta reserve yourself." This guy is unstoppable. He is an unstoppable train. He don't have a limit; I have to limit him. I gotta tell him, "Bro, you're done." Wrap it up and get him in the car and take him home. I dropped him off like 5 minutes ago. At the end of the night on April 12th, we are gonna go home happy. We are gonna please a lot of people. Either we win or lose, we gonna please a lot of people because there are a lot of people up to this day that still send messages. The other day, I opened up my Facebook page, because I have a fan page, and every message is just negative. Come on; all we do is go to work. People are just ignorant to realize that after the fight, we don't have nothing to do with that. We go fight. I prepare my fighter to go fight and the fighter goes and fights. Anything that happens on the outside of the ring and the business side, I have nothing to do with it. It's just odd the fact that I open up my website and people are insulting me and telling me to man up and admit and realize we didn't win the fight. I mean, just insult after insult. It's like, come on, we are here to entertain people. We are entertainers. Fighters get in that ring and risk their lives every moment to please and give them what they want to see. But oh well; it doesn't matter because we are gonna go on April 12th and we are gonna give it our all and we gonna win. And if Manny Pacquiao wins, the only way to win is to knockout Tim Bradley and if he knocks out Tim Bradley and he goes home with a victory, you know what? It is what it is. We win some and we lose some.
PC: And your guy, to this point, has always found a way to win. And being that he is such a hard worker, it has to make your job easier because he's not a fighter you have to drag to the gym and he lays it all on the line.
JD: Tim Bradley is unstoppable. He may not be the greatest fighter as far as what some consider to be the package of a fighter, but he has the determination, heart, and a lot of balls. That guy will not take no for an answer.
PC: I cannot wait until April 12th. I know you gotta be exhausted, so I will let you get some rest. Is there anything you want to add before I let you go?
JD: I like the fact that you guys call me and it's always a pleasure to be on your website and my doors are always open for you guys. Anything you guys ever need, just give me a call and if I have the time, if I'm not training or putting time in the gym with my fighters, my time will always be for you guys, you know. So just give me a call and I'm always there for you guys. I really appreciate everything you guys do for us.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]