Tim Bradley: "Manny Pacquiao has fought guys that are a lot older with big names, but they're past their primes. I'm in my prime."
With four months to go before his matchup against Manny Pacquiao, WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley is now firmly in the boxing spotlight.
In an interview with RingTV.com, Bradley discussed his appeal to the African American and Latino communities, his relative youth in comparison to Pacquiao's past opponents, and his chances of ending the Filipino superstar's run of 15 consecutive wins.
Rated No. 9 pound-for-pound by THE RING, Bradley (28-0, 12 knockouts) is coming off an eighth-round knockout of former four-time titleholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor on the undercard of Pacquiao's disputed majority decision over Juan Manuel Marquez.
Previously having fought to a draw and a split-decision against Pacquiao, Marquez is among several Mexican warriors who have fallen to THE RING's No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Possibly as a result of that record, Bradley says he has received substantial support from Latino fans, particularly in his native Palm Springs, Calif.
Youth will also be on his side, according to Bradley, and points out that rivals such as the 38-year-old Marquez, the 33-year-old Antonio Margarito, and the 40-year-old Shane Mosley were past their primes when they fought Pacquiao.
Tim Bradley on his appeal to the Latin American community:
"My wife is Latin American, and the Latino community is embracing me, especially in my home town. Absolutely. That's the case, not only in my community, but everywhere. Everybody wants to see this guy go down, and everybody wants me to be the guy to take him out.
"That's what I feel and that's how I see it. The Latin community has embraced me in this fight. Because they want someone to beat this guy. Pacquiao has beaten a lot of Latin fighters, you know, and their champions.
"A lot of Mexican fighters have lost to this guy, and they're looking for someone that's friendly and someone that's humble and someone that's hungry and someone that's with them as well, and that's me."
On the notion that his slick-boxing, African American style could trouble Pacquiao:
"I don't think that I was chosen for that reason. I think and I feel honestly that I was chosen so that Manny Pacquiao could make a statement."
On Pacquiao's performance against Marquez:
"A lot of people are questioning his last performance, but I thought that he looked pretty good and that he did what he had to do. Fighting Marquez, stylistically, is a tough thing to do and a tough fight for him.
"But he got the job done. People are questioning him, but not myself. They're like, 'hey, does this guy still have anything left?' And I'm like, 'yes, this guy does.'
"But I think that's the reason why I was definitely picked is for Pacquiao to see if he can still do it and get the job done and still look spectacular and still put me on my behind."
On what about his approach can trouble Pacquiao:
"You know, this Bradley kid, he's quick, he can get in and out, and he can box, and he can do pretty much everything very well in the ring. You know, he's strong, he's young, he's got good defense and he's determined. You can't take that away from Bradley.
"I'm 28, he's 33, so I bring that to this event as well. My skill, my speed, and also, my foot speed as well. So I feel that on every level, I can compete with this guy. I can compete with this guy on every level. That's what I bring to the table, man, and it's going to be a different fight than the other fights you've seen Pacquaio fighting."
On Pacquiao's most recent opponents:
"Manny Pacquiao has fought guys that are a lot older with big names, but they're past their primes. I'm in my prime. So that's the difference between Pacquiao's last fight and this fight that he's going to have on June 9."
On the belief of some that Pacquiao will dominate him:
"A lot of people are expecting him to go right through me and to dominate me every round and to possibly stop me, even though I don't believe that will happen one bit. But that's what a lot of people are believing. But there are also a lot of people who are believing that Bradley, you know, this kid still has a chance.
"I think that I'm at 3-to-1 odds and that I'm the underdog, and that as it gets closer and closer to the fight, that those odds could stay 3-to-1. Or that they might even change. But I think that Pacquiao is going to come to fight, and I think that's what is going to make this a good fight. But, I feel that I have a huge shot."
Photos by David Martin Warr
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org