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PALM SPRINGS, California – Teddy Atlas loves speaking in codes and issuing cryptic messages and Friday was no exception when he presided over the open training session of Tim Bradley, who faces Manny Pacquiao next week in Las Vegas.
Atlas also made it even more bizarre with his antics during the two-hour training, opting to make use of words than gestures to stress a point.
And when it was time to entertain questions, Atlas was still very much into it, giving statements laced with philosophical meanings instead of answering in much simpler terms.
Asked about the gameplan on April 9 at the MGM Grand, Atlas, speaking in his thick New York drawl, waxed lyrical with his analogy of Pacquiao’s reputation, comparing the experience of fighting the Filipino star the first time to a child’s initial encounter with riding a Ferris wheel.
“Remember the first time you went to the carnival the first time and you look at the Ferris wheel and it gets everyone’s attention?” asked Atlas, who went on to muddle up the interview with his penchant for quirky analogies.
Bradley, Atlas notes, was intimidated the first time he met Pacquiao, likening it to a kid’s first visit to a theme park and riding the iconic ride.
“It’s the biggest thing in the carnival. You had awe and when you get on it and go on it a couple of times and by the time you get on it the second or third time, you realize that it was not quite the monstrous thing you thought it was and that’s like fighting Pacquiao.”
“You later see that it (Ferris wheel) doesn’t quite touch the sky and it doesn’t go 100 miles an hour.”
Bradley has already gotten over the fear factor that his fighter is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao, said Atlas, who is best known for his work as the trainer of a young Mike Tyson.
“We are ready for it. We are ready to wherever we have to be. We have to be enclosed in a phone booth, in a suitcase, in a cubicle. And if you are close with Manny, he’s got a terrible habit of filling that space.”
Still, Atlas maintains that even if Bradley has learned to familiarize himself with Pacquiao over the years, he has “to fight smart.”
“There has to be little margin of error against Manny Pacquiao,” said Bradley.