Timothy Bradley has split with trainer Joel Diaz, the only man he’s worked with since the start of his professional career. It seems like odd timing, coming off a nice win over a young, unbeaten fighter in Jessie Vargas, reestablishing himself in the loaded welterweight division. So the question to ask is, why would Bradley switch trainers now?
Fighters and trainers typically split after losses or letdown performances. Or as a young fighter is developing, the need for more progression and a different influence elsewhere. Yet, this comes after a win, and after a steady decade spent training together.
One issue could be the always intriguing world of father-son teams in boxing. Bradley, often through his father, takes a rather unique approach to much of his training and conditioning. The battle of egos and the battle of who gets the final call may have simply boiled over after a decade.
However, Diaz pointed the finger at Bradley’s wife and manager, Monica, in scathing statements to ESPN. Bradley pointed the finger back at Diaz, calling it an issue of trust and commitment, and pointing to a post-fight incident after his win against Vargas.
Clearly there are differences of opinion on the matter. And whether it was Monica in Bradley’s ear, his father, both, or nobody at all, Bradley will have a new trainer running the show – or playing a role as other domineering members of the team run the show – as the case may be. Stylistically, I would say that Virgil Hunter seems to be an ideal fit, yet, that camp is home to a potential future foe for Bradley in Amir Khan, and Hunter doesn’t seem the type to take on unofficial “co-trainer” status.