RingTV.com caught up to WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley for his thoughts on challenging WBO welterweight counterpart Manny Pacquiao on June 9, in an HBO Pay Per View telecast from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Despite the fact that he will be fighting in Las Vegas for only the second time, Bradley believes that his youth and athleticisim pose an advantage, and claims that he is unfazed by critics even as he admits being involved in the most biggest and most dramatic event of his career against Pacquiao.
RingTV.com: In signing, can I ask you what took you so long?
Tim Bradley: [Chuckles.] Hey, man, it was just that everything had to be lined up right. That’s just all that it is. Everything had to be lined up, that’s the reason why. I don’t know what took so long on Pacquiao’s end, but I was really willing and ready and looking to make the fight any day of the week, so, you know, I’m ready.
RingTV.com: With the press tour starting next week, can you characterize how big this event is compared to everything else in your career?
TB: This is big. I’m fighting against Manny Pacquiao, man, who is, some say, one of the best fighters in the history of boxing. He’s the No. 1 guy, depending on the way that you have them, up there with Floyd Mayweather, or it’s Pacquiao. You know, he’s the cream of the crop.
So this is a huge opportunity for myself, man, and for my career. It’s Manny Pacquiao, dude, so, you know, it’s completely different. The hype is different. The media exposure is going to be completely different. It’s a super fight. A pay per view attraction. So I’ve got to work very hard.
I’ve got to work extremely hard in this fight, so not only with the media, but all the way around, dude. With the training and everything. This is just a different animal.
RingTV.com: What are the various assessments that you are hearing about the match up?
TB: You know, I don’t know what’s going to be fair and what’s unreasonable, but I just think that people that make criticisms don’t know me. I’m sure that there are people out there who talk about me, but they don’t know me personally. So, I don’t get really bothered by the criticism.
I’ve taken so much criticism in my whole career and in my whole life that if I listen to all of that crap and let it bring me down, I wouldn’t be able to do my job. So I don’t listen to anything. I really don’t care what people say, you know, because I’ve been through it all. I’ve been through the ringer. But I just get into the ring and I do my thing. Every time I fight, that’s just what I do. So whatever is being said, it just doesn’t matter.
RingTV.com: What questions, if any, will Pacquiao have to answer based on the skills that you bring to the table?
TB: I think that Pacquiao is a great fighter, first of all. He’s definitely a fighter to be admire. He’s a fighter that I admire. I appreciate what he does in the ring, and I respect that he’s an eight-time champion, an eight-division champion, so that speaks for itself.
He’s been in the ring with some great fighters, but what I bring to the table, man, at this time, is youthfulness. I’m only 28, and he’s 33 years old. I bring that to the event, as well as my skill and my speed and my footspeed as well.
So at every level, I feel that I can compete with this guy. That’s what I bring to the table, and it’s going to be a different fight than what you’re used to seeing Pacquiao fight.
He’s fought guys that were a lot older who were not in their prime, but I’m right in my prime. So, that’s the difference between me and Pacquiao’s last fight and the fight that he’s going to have on June 9.
RingTV.com: Stylistically, how do you see the fight shaping up?
TB: I think that stylistically, you have two guys who are going to be willing to get into exchanges with one another. Like, in the past, I have fought some guys who were not necessarily willing to exchange with me. Once I hit them in the face, they pretty much stayed away from the exchanges. But you’ve got two guys who like to think about offense first and defense second.
That’s how I approach a lot of my fights, and this is not going to be any different. Pacquiao’s a great fighter. I’m just looking for my opportunity to be able to exploit some of his weaknesses and that’s pretty much it. I feel that I’m very capable and I’m motivated and I very much believe that I can win this fight.
photo by Naoki Fukuda