Junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley has now stood shirtless and face-to-face with Manny Pacquiao, and has determined himself to be the bigger and stronger man going into their June 9 clash on HBO Pay Per View.
After having stood shirtless, toe-to-toe and face-to-face with Manny Pacquiao during a promotional photo shoot on Feb. 20, Tim Bradley has declared himself "bigger," and, "stronger," than the man from whom he hopes to lift the WBO welterweight belt in their upcoming clash on June 9.
Ranked No. 9 pound-for-pound by THE RING, Bradley (28-0, 12 knockouts) made his assertions during an interview with RingTV.com on Sunday after having participated in press events alongside Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) in Beverly Hills and New York last week.
Already the WBO's junior welterweight titleholder, Bradley is attempting to end a 15-bout winning streak for Pacquiao, an eight-division titlewinner who has a rematch clause worked into the contract with Bradley.
On Friday, Bradley appeared as an in-studio guest co-host of ESPN's Friday Night Fights, where he correctly predicuted that former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander would dominate Marcos Maidana in their welterweight debut on Saturday night.
Bradley said that he was encouraged by the 147-pound performance of Alexander, from whom he took the WBC junior welterweight title by 11th-round technical decision in January.
During an interview with RingTV.com, Bradley discussed his past week's experiences with Pacquiao, as well as his chances of dethroning the man who is ranked No. 1, both at welterweight and pound-for-pound, by THE RING.
RingTV.com: When you did your Monday photo shoot with Pacquiao, face-to-face, shirts off, did you feel as if you were bigger than he is?
Tim Bradley: Oh, yeah. I'm way bigger than him. I walk around at 160, 165. You know, I'm way bigger than him. Pacquiao's like an inch or an inch and a half taller than I am, but I like them tall. So I'm glad that he is taller than me.
I mean, I'm strong and I'm a lot thicker than he is, and I looked like I'm a lot stronger. I know that he can't bench press no 300 pounds. I am physically stronger, and I'm younger and I feel good. I felt like this is going to be a good match.
RingTV.com: What were your conversations like with Pacquiao?
TB: Manny is a very, very nice guy. He's very respectful and has a lot of good mannerism. He's cordial, and I appreciate that. I feel like I'm the same way.
There's no trash-talking or anything. There's no reason to trash talk. But when he gets in the ring, he has dominated the other fighters.
RingTV.com: Will you be able to raise the level come fight time?
TB: Well, the bottom line, at the end of the day, is that when it's the time to fight, you've still got to prove that you're better than me. So I think that he's a great fighter, but I can't wait to get it on on June 9.
RingTV.com: How was your experience at ESPN's studios?
TB: That was great, man. I felt like I was at home. It was my second time being on ESPN. I'm comfortable with the cameras. I'm comfortable with all of the media exposure.
This is something that I felt that I've needed in my whole career. It's finally here, and I'm comfortable with it. This is something that I feel that I'm supposed to be doing.
My whole career ... it's weird ... like I said, I feel like I'm at home with it. I loved it, and ESPN always has shown me mad love, and [anchor] Bernardo Osuna did a great job. Teddy Atlas, they all did a great job.
It was a great night. I really enjoyed it, man, commentating is something that I'm always interested in for the future, and I would love to comment on fights, man.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on the Broner-Perez, and, Alexander-Maidana fights?
TB: What's that like, the third or fourth knockout that he's had on HBO? I think that Broner did really well. I don't really see anybody at 130 stopping that guy. Devon looked really good last night.
I was cheering for Devon, I was happy for him. Honestly, I was happy for him. While I was cheering for him, everybody in my house was looking at me like I was weird. They were like, 'I thought you didn't like this guy.'
But I was like, 'man, I'm just happy that he is finally getting his just due.' We went through what we went through, but I know that it's all love, because Devon and I, we grew up together fighting in the amateurs.
RingTV.com: Are you encouraged as a result of Alexander's debut at 147 that you can also take your skills to the next higher weight class against Pacquiao?
TB: Absolutely, man. Without a doubt. I feel that at 147, I'm going to be a lot stronger, and I'm going to bring my speed up there with me. I'm going to bring power up with me.
A lot of people don't know where I came from, but I'm going to be a handful at 147, man. I fought at 147 pounds in the amateurs, and I was a monster at that weight class.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com