American boxer Timothy Bradley's confidence is at an all-time high leading up to his highly anticipated April 12 rematch against Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, according to his trainer, Joel Diaz.
"Our confidence level is so high," said Diaz in an interview with Hustle Boss.
Bradley controversially defeated Pacquiao when they first fought in June 2012, and was at the receiving end of harsh criticism from boxing fans and analysts alike.
But his two impressive victories in 2013 – against Ruslan Provodnikov in March and Juan Manuel Marquez in October – helped restore his confidence and made him a better fighter.
"After fighting Ruslan Provodnikov, who hits a lot harder than Manny Pacquiao, and (Bradley) took his punches and finished the fight," said Diaz.
"And then, fighting Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked out Manny Pacquiao, and just cruised and beat him," he added.
Bradley was nearly knocked out by Provodnikov after opting to go toe-to-toe with the Russian, but survived to take a unanimous decision, and then eked out a split-decision victory over Marquez, this time by using his boxing skills to outlast the Mexican legend.
Diaz feels that the two impressive victories that he notched in contrasting fashions showed that Bradley was more than ready to take on Pacquiao again.
"The confidence level is high," said Diaz. "We know what Manny Pacquiao brings to the table, and we’re ready for it."
Bradley, in a conference call last weekend, echoed his trainer’s sentiments.
"I think everybody has seen me grow in the last two years, and they see how confident I am and my ability," he said.
"I fought two different styles, and I was able to come out victorious, so a lot of people are definitely getting behind me right now, and they feel that Pacquiao is declining, and this is my time," he added.