With the 2016 boxing year in full swing, one of the most anticipated fights of the year could also be the last of Manny Pacquiao’s legendary career. On April 9th, Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley in a trilogy bout and a fight that has potential to be different and more interesting then the first 2 bouts, with a new presence in Bradley’s corner.
In part 2 of my interview with trainer Johnathon Banks, I get his thoughts on Pacquiao vs. Bradley 3, and on what differences he sees Teddy Atlas making in the third bout. Banks also breaks down the fight, giving his thoughts on who wins the fight and why. Here is what Johnathon Banks had to say.
Robert Brown: How much of a chance does Timothy Bradley have in the third bout with Pacquiao? How much difference can a new trainer make at this stage of someone’s career?
Johnathon Banks: It depends on who the trainer is. Timothy fought Pacquiao before, so there’s not gonna be too much of a difference. The thing about a trainer changing in the corner, if a trainer can come in and change the course of a fighter then he has to have a reputation to do so. Does Teddy Atlas have a reputation of making champions? Alexander Povetkin was an Olympic gold medalist and already a world heavyweight champion before he ever got to Teddy.
There’s no way in the world you can say Teddy made any fighter. I don’t have anything against Teddy Atlas, please don’t take this in a bad way, people consider him one of the best trainers in boxing and the only thing you have of him is Cus D’Amato allowing him to stand in the ring and watch Mike Tyson, that’s all he’s got. Then all of the sudden because of Cus D’Amato allowing him to watch Mike Tyson — and Mike Tyson said it himself during his stand up, that Teddy was just there to babysit him — that alone makes him a great trainer? We gotta put a stop on this.
Robert Brown: So you think people are overrating Teddy Atlas as a trainer?
Johnathon Banks: I’ve seen pictures out on Facebook asking who’s the greater trainer between Emanuel Steward and Teddy Atlas, and ninety percent of people picked Teddy Atlas. I don’t know how people even say this. You got the highest decorated trainer in the history of the sport, one of the only trainers to this day to take someone not knowing nothing as an amateur, taking them to the Olympic trials, to the pros, to a world title and legendary status, and he did it over and over again.
On a photo that I saw a month ago, I thought it was ridiculous because you got someone who’s done something like this time and time again — and even though Teddy got Michael Moorer, Michael Moorer was one of the most vicious light heavyweights in the world when he was with Emanuel Steward. Moorer was one of the most devastating light heavyweights in the history of the division, it was insane.
Robert Brown: At this stage would you still make Manny Pacquiao the favorite over Tim Bradley?
Johnathon Banks: I didn’t think Pacquiao should have been the favorite in any of the previous fights. I think Timothy Bradley is a good athlete, I think he’s a hard worker, and I really believe if comes in there and fights Pacquiao, I honestly think that he will beat him.
You gotta look at what Marquez did. Although Pacquiao and Marquez had such a good rhythm because they had fought so many times before, they could fight each other with their eyes closed. Marquez said, “You know what? Everytime he tries to fight me, he jumps in to me but let me see if I can time that jump.” Marquez timed it right and I think Timothy Bradley should do the same thing, time the jump.
Pacquiao hasn’t changed, just time that jump and catch him when he comes in and Timothy Bradley should be able to knock him out. I really believe Bradley can knock him out. I take nothing away from the training of Teddy Atlas, I think he does a good job with his fighters — his corner ethics are a little extreme but that’s Teddy Atlas trying to get whatever he can out of his fighters, and who can blame him for that?