Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Bradley faced death threats post- Pacquiao, vows KO of Provodnikov
Tim Bradley on Ruslan Provodnikov: "Absolutely, I'm looking to make a statement in this fight. I'm looking to do some damage to this guy."
WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley said he received death threats after June's unpopular split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao, and vowed to deliver his second knockout in three fights when he meets Russian rival Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The comments by Bradley (29-0, 12 knockouts), made during a Tuesday conference call promoting his clash with Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KOs), included his belief that Pacquiao was deserving of December's loss by sensational stoppage to Juan Manuel Marquez, whom Pacquiao decided to face for a fourth time rather than take a November rematch with him.
A 29-year-old from Palm Springs, Calif., Badley faces in Provodnikov a fighter who, like Pacquiao, is trained by Freddie Roach.
A former Pacquiao sparring partner, Provodnikov has won five consecutive fights as a junior welterweight, four of them by stoppage, and is coming off June's second-round knockout of Jose Reynoso that ended the loser's unbeaten streak at 6-0-1.
Provodnikov's lone defeat came opposite Mauricio Herrera (18-3, 7 KOs) in January of 2011 at 140 pounds, and he will be making only his third appearance at 147 pounds against Bradley.
Bradley, however, has employed Herrera among his sparring partners, and vows that Provodnikov will not last the full 12-round distance against him.
"Tim has not had a bad day in sparring. He's been looking really, really good. As far as getting ready for the fight, Tim could fight this weekend. That's how ready he is. He always prepares 100 percent. He's doesn't take anybody lightly, regardless of who it is or what style they've got. Ruslan has his style, and I know that he's training really hard because this is a great opportunity for him," said Bradley's trainer, Joel Diaz.
Bradley certainly has the resume to back up Diaz's assertions, having vanquished the likes of IBF junior welterweiight titleholder Lamont Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KOs), IBF welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) and Argentina's Luis Carlos Abregu (34-1, 28 KOs).
A two-division, three-belt titlewinner, Bradley also dethroned Kendall Holt by unanimous decision for the WBO's 140-pound belt in April of 2009, rising from two knockdowns to do so.
Bradley also owns a unanimous decision from July of 2007 over current IBF lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13 KOs), as well as an eighth-round knockout of former Olympic gold medalist and ex-beltholder Joel Casamayor at 140 pounds in November of 2011.
Bradley said that his left foot was fractured and his right sprained early in the Pacquiao fight. Both feet were in splints, and Bradley was wheelchair-bound for some time afterward.
Bradley said that he was hobbled from the second round on after hearing a "pop" in his left foot, and that his right became damaged somewhere during the middle of the fight, which ended a 15-bout winning streak by Pacquiao that had included eight knockouts.
When a rematch with Pacquiao failed to materialize, Bradley was offered a return bout with Peterson, and, briefly, options to face unbeaten two-division titlewinner Yuriorkis Gamboa, and current WBC interim 147-pound belttholder Robert Guerrero and ex-titleholder Andre Berto.
But none of those matchups came to fruition. Gamboa unanimously decisioned Michael Farenas for the WBA's interim junior lightweight belt in December, and Guerrero did the same in November against Berto.
"We had been offered the Guerrero and the Berto fights. We had agreed to the fights. HBO was brokering a deal for us to go in December, and we were going to go to Marlon Stadium in Florida, and we were waiting for them to wrap that up," said Top Rank President Todd duBoef.
Below are a few of the comments made by Bradley on Tuesday.
Tim Bradley on the death threats:
To me, people were mad, and when they're mad, they do certain things. So it's not like someone is in front of my house and trying to take me out. I don't think that would ever happen."
"And what's important in my career is that I pay attention to my career and my career only, instead of worrying about everybody else's career and what they're making and what they're doing and how they're doing it.
"So, absolutely, I'm looking to make a statement in this fight. I'm looking to do some damage to this guy. I want to put this guy out. I don't want to go 12 rounds with this guy at all.
"So the longer he stays in there, the more confidence he builds, and he'll keep coming forward and keep battling. So I want to get him out of there as soon as possible."
On sparring with Herrera:
On why he elected not to face Peterson or anyone else in December:
"It took a while for my feet to heal. I could have fought in December, but my feet were not at 100 percent. I still could have fought, and it was in the back of my mind whether or not I was ready.
"It was a combination of the two things, but mainly, it was because I didn't want to fight Peterson...We were talking to Gamboa's camp for a while."
On Marquez's knockout of Pacquiao:
"You want the devil side of me or the good side in me. Both sides? Everybody has their alter ego. So, the bad side of me said, 'That's what you get for not rematching me.'
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org