Bradley takes 'way different' approach for Pacquiao bout

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[March 17, 2016]  By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American Timothy Bradley says he will rely on a "way different" strategy built on a highly detailed game plan when he defends his WBO welterweight title against Filipino Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas next month.

The two boxers will be meeting for a third time, Bradley having controversially beaten Pacquiao when they first met in 2012 but the Filipino gained revenge in their 2014 re-match by scoring a unanimous decision win.

Two-division world champion Bradley has since teamed up with renowned trainer and boxing analyst Teddy Atlas, a move that he believes has markedly improved his ring skills and fight preparation.

"Our approach this time (against Pacquiao) is going to be way different," Bradley said during a conference call on Wednesday. "We have a big game plan going into this fight and I am looking closely at Pacquiao and his weaknesses.

"I can take a lot from the first two fights. I didn't really have a game plan for the first fight, pretty much fighting on my peer skills and my experience, and I did pretty well in that one.


"The second fight, Pacquiao definitely won that hands down but I suffered an injury in the second round. The fact that now I will have a big game plan ... I think that I have a much better chance."

Asked what he had learned under the tutelage of Atlas, Bradley replied: "I've learned a lot of things ... but the hardest thing for me is to trust the game plan at all times in the ring, in training.

"What I mean by that is that no matter what's going on, no matter how bad a day you're having, you always have to be focused, you always have to be committed.

"That is enforced every single day (with Atlas). I show up to the gym and it's total concentration, total focus all the way through," said Bradley (33-1-1), who knocked out fellow American Brandon Rios in the ninth round of his last bout.

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Southpaw Pacquiao (57-6-2) has won world titles in eight different weight classes during a stellar 20-year career but Bradley is confident that he and Atlas have established a winning strategy for the April 9 showdown in Las Vegas.

"We have a game plan, I just have to go out there and execute it, just like I did against Rios," said Bradley. "I trust everything that Teddy is telling me and teaching me. I've just got to do my job.

"Teddy has shown me everything that I need to win this fight but if I don't go out there and do it, then I'm not going to win this fight.

"Manny Pacquiao pretty much does the same things, he's going to bring the intensity, he's going to come forward, he's going to be the Manny Pacquiao that we have always seen. He knows me but I think I'm going to be a little different now."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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