"I know he doesn't want to end his career like that, so you know he's coming back and maybe he goes with Bradley and Marquez goes with Rios. If I was him, I'm like, 'I beat this guy at least 8 rounds to 4. I can do it again.' It's not like Bradley is the biggest puncher in the world. If I was Pacquiao and Freddie Roach, I'm rooting for a Bradley rematch. He can get some redemption or revenge if he wins that and then he could fight Marquez for a 5th time or say, 'You know what? I'm done." And nobody can disrespect him,' stated world-class trainer Ron Frazier, who shared his thoughts on a number of topics, including Adrien Broner, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Austin Trout, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Wanted to get your thoughts on some hot boxing topics now that the new year is here. A lot of talk about a potential fight between Adrien Broner and Yuriorkis Gamboa. What are your thoughts on that potential fight?
RF: You know what? Gamboa is one of those guys, and we saw it with Juan Manuel Lopez, they can fight, but they make mistakes and they make a lot of mistakes. What separates being really good from being great is not making those mistakes. Gamboa is a good fighter coming off of a self-inflicted long layoff and didn't look spectacular in his comeback outing, but to me, he's not in the same class as Broner. If they fight, I predict that fight lasts less than 6 rounds.
PC: Andre Berto is a guy you have been critical of; critical of his corner and fighting style that he chooses to go with sometimes. We watched both come to a climax in his fight against Robert Guerrero. Is it too late for Berto or is there room and time for him to reinvent himself?
RF: The clock is definitely ticking. I don't know where his confidence is, but he needs to get all of his family members out of his corner. You can't have your family members yelling over your corner men and your corner men waiting on them to stop so he could give you instructions. Who is running his camp? That's number one, and number two, play to his strengths. You gotta get his defense better, but everybody can't do the high shoulder thing. Berto is one that I don't think has good enough reflexes to do it. His hands need to be held up. He needs to be a guy who goes in and out and changes direction more and uses his offensive abilities as defense in a sense. He needs to get with somebody who can do that, but he has to start from scratch; leave his family. I know his family loves him and I know they are knowledgeable about the game, but they are not good for him at this point in his career. He needs to say, "You are my family and I love you, but this guy over here is going to handle my boxing from this point forward." If he doesn't do that, I don't see how he's going to be a viable fighter.
PC: Yeah, I agree, and if his next move is indeed to 154, he needs to make some changes sooner as opposed to later.
RF: Yeah, and he's not a 154 -pounder. He's a 147-pounder that just let a guy that spent most of his career at a lower weight class bust him up, so the answer is not the weight class above. I just don't see it, and with his defensive inability and ineptness, that could be career over if he goes there. And it's going to slow him down a little bit. I don't think he's going to carry that like he carried 147 and be the same kind of athlete. These are big dudes that can bang and they are quick as well. It could be bad, Unless he gets with a real good strength and conditioning guy who can make sure he carries his speed and get a little bit more pop, and of course get a real good trainer who can correct his defensive lapses.
PC: Most rematches or trilogies rarely live up to the billing. Of course Pacquiao/Marquez 4 more than lived up to the billing. Wow, what an ending. What did you think of the fight and of course the conclusion?
RF: Man, it was a "wow" factor in it. I think there was some pressure on both of them for different reasons. Manny Pacquiao hasn't looked good in a while as far as his fighting is concerned. He has been getting all of this hype, but he hasn't had a knockout in a while. He hasn't looked good in his last few outings and he was coming off of a loss even though most people thought he won. Obviously he knows people thought he lost that last Marquez fight. He wanted to come in and make a statement. They talked about legacy going into this fight, so he knew he needed a definitive answer in this fight. Am I better than Marquez? So he came out aggressive. And Marquez had that, you know what, it's been three nail-biting decisions that he has gotten. Well, two anyway; the last one I didn't think was that close and I came up short. I gotta find a way to knock this guy out to make a definitive statement and leave the judges out of it. So they both were facing pressure. They both came out and knew a lot was on the line, and man, it was fireworks. They both were hurt, both down, but man, I love counter punchers and that overhand right. Wow! We saw the overhand right land early and hurt Pacquiao, but I didn't see it planting him face first though.
PC: Where would you like to see both fighters go from here?
RF: Alright, I will start with Marquez first. I think Bradley, who has kind of been the forgotten man, the odd man out here; he is an undefeated guy and if he was the beneficiary of a bad decision, it's not his fault. He just went out there and fought and did what he was supposed to do. If he lost and the judges gave it to him, don't punish him. He is an undefeated guy and a champion and I think that's the natural bout for Marquez. Marquez and Bradley and put that either in Texas or in California. But don't be trying to put these guys in Florida. It's not a good situation. But you put it in Texas or California; Bradley is from California, and obviously you have a tremendous Mexican fan base in California, so I think that would be a natural. You put it in the Staples Center and I think you sell it out. I think it does great PPV numbers on the West Coast. As far as Pacquiao goes, I know he doesn't want to end his career like that, so you know he's coming back and maybe he goes with Bradley and Marquez goes with Rios. If I was him, I'm like, "I beat this guy at least 8 rounds to 4. I can do it again." It's not like Bradley is the biggest puncher in the world. If I was Pacquiao and Freddie Roach, I'm rooting for a Bradley rematch. He can get some redemption or revenge if he wins that and then he could fight Marquez for a 5th time or say, "You know what? I'm done." And nobody can disrespect him. And the things that I have been saying on your website for the past few years, it's not that Pacquiao's not a great fighter. I never said he wasn't a great fighter; he just wasn't top 15 of all time. And his legacy, to me, should have been when he was between 126 and 130 fighting Barrera and Morales and his fight with Marquez at the lower weight. That, to me, is where his legacy was made. All of this cherrypicking and handpicking opponents at these higher weights didn't bother me, but that didn't cement his legacy to me.
PC: A lot of people are under the impression that the KO loss killed the potential Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, but that's really not the case. That fight was never gonna happen and neither will any fights between a Top Rank fighter and anyone affiliated with Golden Boy.
RF: No, it wasn't a reality because they really didn't want it to be a reality. And people can say Floyd ducked and dodged Pacquiao, but this kid grew up in boxing. From the time he could walk, he was in gyms. He was sparring world champions at 17 years old. Now, let's see, look at Pacquiao's career. What did they keep him away from his entire career? You had Joan Guzman calling him out for 4 years and Zahir Raheem was in a position to fight him and Ali Funeka was in a position to fight him. None of those guys get fights with him and why is that? They kept him away from guys who were slick with good jabs. A lot of stuff that Manny does, if you have a good jab or are a counter puncher, you can take those things away. So why didn't they want to fight Floyd Mayweather? Why when he agreed to every concession except for one they didn't really want that? It's because he had all of those problems with Marquez and now you're dealing with someone faster, bigger, and is a counter puncher as well; and more of a defensive counter puncher than an offensive counter puncher and can make Manny look bad. Nah, they didn't want that fight. They never wanted that fight and they gave you every excuse in the world as to why Floyd wouldn't take it. Oh, he don't look good against left-handers. Well, he's beaten every left-handed fighter he has faced. It ain't like he lost to 'em. He had trouble in a round with a few. It's a fight. You name me someone in the history of boxing who didn't have trouble with someone in a round or so or didn't lose.
PC: Definitely. And what did you walk away from Trout/Cotto thinking?
RF: Cotto has had a great career, but this is a guy who is not a natural 154-pounder. He done lifted weights and did everything he could to get up to this weight, but he should still be fighting at 147. He is not that tall and doesn't have a long reach. He is a pretty good banger, but those big guys fighting at 154 are coming down from 170. They are big and athletic and stronger than him. It's going to be hard for him to handle athletic guys who are bigger and stronger than him at that weight, and they have a longer reach. So I wasn't that surprised because if you find a guy with a good game plan, and Trout was the naturally bigger guy and he was a champion and he is hungry you can't be surprised if he wins. I wasn't surprised. Look at Cotto's recent performances. Who has he beaten? He beat Margarito and Margarito is suspect at 54 and he shouldn't have been fighting anyway because he should have been banned from boxing forever. He took a vicious beating from Pacquiao and he gets to fight Miguel Cotto at a weight where Cotto was feeling confident and with no loaded gloves. Come on!
PC: I always appreciate the honesty and the knowledge. Is there anything you want to add before I let you go?
RF: Yeah, I actually want to add something on the MMA side of things and that's Johny Hendricks deserves a title shot. How I don't understand how it works. And I like Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz did The Ultimate Fighting show with Roy Nelson. He came in as a guest coach. I know they didn't show it on TV, but he was there. And you know what? I like him, but he lost to Carlos Condit and he was suspended for a year, but because GSP calls him out, the guy who has knocked out two of the top five contenders and beat another contender, he is bypassed? How does that work? I'm confused. They need some sort of system in place. It's the same thing with Chael Sonnen. Okay, because he was willing to step up to fight on 7 days notice or 3 days or whatever the heck it was, he gets a title shot. Well, he lost his last title shot and he hasn't fought at this weight class in about 5 years, and the last time he fought in this division, he got submitted in the UFC by Jeremy Horn if I remember correctly. So how does that because you were willing to fight, you get a title shot? They definitely need a system to where it's like, it doesn't even have to be a top 10; you can do top 5. Here are my top 5 guys and this is my number one guy and this person is the mandatory. If not and you want to make GSP and Nick Diaz, then make it a non-title fight. These guys work too hard and they are too good, and now Johny is in a position where he has to decide does he take another fight or does he wait. And considering the way they get their money by showing up and winning bonuses, you're leaving guys out there to dry. If they are making $20 million a fight, they can wait a year before their next fight, but they're not and now he has to wait on the sidelines and he's got a family. He's got 2 kids. And now you've got Rory McDonald, who looked awesome against BJ Penn. What do you do with him, because he was being mentioned before Johny started looking so spectacular for a title shot? Do they have to fight each other when they both were on the cusp of fighting for the title? No, as you can see, Hendricks will have to fight Jake Ellenberger and McDonald will probably rematch Condit. So now they gotta go through another number one eliminator.
I think Nick Diaz is a great fighter and he could very well beat GSP. Chael Sonnen is a very tenacious guy and he could very well do some things and make Jon Jones be in spots he's never been in before. These guys can win fights. Frankie Edgar going down to 145, which may be a natural weight for him, maybe he performs even better. It's not like he's performed bad at 155. So he may become champion, but off of losses, off of layoffs and suspensions what is the criteria to be champion? And I get on boxing when they do it to. When Miguel Cotto lost to Manny Pacquiao, his next fight was for a title. No! You don't go up a weight and get a title shot on a loss. When Sugar Ray Leonard wanted another title and he was at 147, he went and fought Ayub Kalule, but he was champion coming off of a win. And if you wanna do it that way, I don't have a problem with it. If GSP and Anderson Silva want to get together because they are champions, that's something different.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]