WATCH: Teddy Atlas fires up Tim Bradley with motivational speech
MANILA, Philippines – In his first professional bout alongside his new trainer Teddy Atlas, Timothy Bradley Jr. turned in an outstanding performance by defeating Brandon Rios via ninth round stoppage to successfully defend his WBO welterweight title on Saturday, November 7 (Sunday, November 8 in Manila) at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Atlas, a 59-year-old boxing mentor who is known for dramatic speeches in-between rounds, gave Bradley a fiery motivational trigger before the eighth round.
“Are you ready for the fire? We are firemen. We are firemen! The heat doesn’t bother us. We live in the heat. We train in the heat. It tells us that we’re ready, we’re at home, we’re where we’re supposed to be. Flames don’t intimidate us. What do we do? We control the flame. We control them. We move the flames where we want to. And then we extinguish them,” he told Bradley.
Bradley went on to finish Rios in Round 9 by dropping the Mexican-American boxer with a left hook to the body before polishing him off with a flurry of punches to compel referee Tony Weeks to halt the contest at the 2:49 mark.
The 32-year-old native of Palm Springs, California left his longtime coach Joel Diaz to acquire the services of Atlas after his 12-round decision victory over Jessie Vargas this past June.
The right hand from Vargas that rocked and nearly knocked Bradley down in the final round made him realize that he needed an experienced trainer in his corner to improve his leverage in the sport.
“That pretty changed of lot of things in my mind,” Bradley admitted in an interview with HBO Boxing. “After the Jessie Vargas, I got on the phone with Teddy Atlas.”
Atlas, who has been working as a commentator for ESPN Boxing for more than a decade, had previously made his reputation as a tough disciplinarian who used strong language and emotional triggers to get the most out of underachieving fighters like Michael Moorer and Shannon Briggs.
The win, and perhaps the attention that working with Atlas brings, has made Bradley an attractive fighter for potential big fights, which may include a third fight with Manny Pacquiao. – Rappler.com
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