PACQUIAO PREDICTS TOE-TO-TOE, HISTORIC CLASSIC
During Thursday’s New York press conference, Pacquiao predicted that his clash with Bradley will be “a good fight.”
“Let me tell you this. This fight, I’m sure that it’s going to be a good fight, because of Tim Bradley’s style. He loves to fight, toe-to-toe, and he keeps coming inside,” said Pacquiao, who will be after his 16th straight victory and his 10th stoppage win during that time against Bradley.
“But my problem is the headbutts. We need to watch that. I’m pretty sure that we can give a good fight. We can create a lot of boxing on June 9. Please don’t miss it. It’s going to be an historic fight.”
Pacquiao last suffered defeat by decision against Erik Morales in March of 2005, but has since knocked out Morales twice.
Pacquiao’s concern over headbutts stems from Bradley’s fight against Alexander, which was decided by the score cards following an accidental clash of heads.
But Bradley was careful not to allow head butts to spoil November’s 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.
ALEXANDER’S TRAINER PICKS BRADLEY TO BEAT PACQUIAO
Although he’s an underdog going against Pacquiao, Bradley has a huge fan in Kevin Cunningham, Alexander’s trainer.
Cunningham said that he believes that youth will be on the side of Bradley, who has pointed out that Pacquiao’s 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.
“I’m predicting that Tim Bradley’s going to beat Pacquiao. I just think that Tim Bradley’s going to be just as strong, and he’s always in tremendous shape, and, he has better skills than what people give him credit for having. He’s a smart fighter and I think that it’s just something that I feel,” said Cunningham.
“I just feel that Manny’s ready to be taken, and that Tim Bradley is definitely not an easy opponent. He’s young, strong, he’s got good speed, and I just think that he’s going to be a big problem for Manny Pacquiao. I think that Tim Bradley is going to beat Manny Pacquiao.”
PETERSON PLANS TO KNOCK OUT KHAN
During an interview on HBO’s Alexander-Maidana broadcast, Peterson explained why he chose to take a rematch with Khan, who, with his promoter, Golden Boy, had filed complaints after their first fight, citing a poorly officiated bout and scorecard descrepancies.
Managed and trained by Barry Hunter, Peterson selected Khan over an offer from Top Rank CEO Bob Arum to face Marquez on July 14 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, with the winner of Marquez-Peterson potentially getting a shot at the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley.
“This makes me want to work that much harder, going into the gym and training for my next fight. I just blocked it out. I’m taking this rematch because that’s what the fans want,” said Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs), who earned $650,000 to the $1.1 million earned by Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) in the first fight, but stands to make substantially more in the return bout.
“None of his words got to me. I just understand that it’s boxing. Nobody likes to lose. So you’re going to complain about things. But at the end of the day, I won the fight, I’m the champion, and the fans want to see the fight again, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
Peterson said that he can make adjustments that may make it easier against Khan the second time around.
“It’s just little things, though. Like jabbing more, moving my head more, things like that that will make the win come easier. I honestly think that I can knock him out this time,” said Peterson.
“I’m definitely in his head, because he’s worrying about changing his gameplan and trying to work on new things. But I’m comfortable with what happened in that ring, and I’m ready to go out there and to do it again.”
BRADLEY SAYS PETERSON WILL “DOMINATE” KHAN IN THE REMATCH
“Lamont is going to beat Amir Khan again. I’m telling you, Lamont is going to beat Amir Khan again. And he’s going to dominate him this time, because I know where Lamont comes from. When he fights you a second time, he gets better, man. I’ve seen it,” said Bradley, a former amateur teammate of Peterson’s.
“Whenever Lamont got beat as an amateur, I would always see him come back and beat the guy who beat him. He gets stronger the second time around, and Barry Hunter is a good trainer and he pays attention to a lot of things and they’ll tighten up a lot of things. Lamont should be a lot better in that second fight against Amir Khan.”
BRADLEY TOUTS 2004 BOXING FRATERNITY AS “NEW ERA IN BOXING”
Ward will be the recepient of the organization’s Sugar Ray Robinson Trophy, and Virgil Hunter, that of the corresponding Eddie Futch Award.
During an interview with RingTV.com, Hunter shed light on a “fraternity” of other trainers he thinks are worthy of recognition, including Cunningham, Barry Hunter, Naazim Richardson, Tony Morgan, Leon Lawson Sr. and Don Livingston Sr.
Morgan, for example, trains Andre Berto, who has a rematch of former welterweight beltholders against Victor Ortiz on June 23 at either the MGM Grand in Las Vegas or the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Lawson trains the super middleweight siblings, Andre Dirrell and Anthony Dirrell.
Just as Virgil Hunter does his training peers, Bradley said that he considers Alexander, Berto, the Dirrells, Peterson and Ward his brothers from the amateurs.
“I’m talking about myself, Devon, Berto, Andre Ward, Lamont Peterson, you know, the guys were in the amateurs and got into the game in 2004,” said Bradley. “I’m telling you this, man: We’re going to rise to the top, man, and we’re the new era in boxing.”
Facing Alexander and Peterson was more difficult because of their past histories, said Bradley.
“Kevin Cunningham, he knows me. Lamont Peterson, Barry Hunter, Virgil Hunter, they all know me from the amateurs. They watched me. We grew up together. They watched me when I was a little boy. They know the weight that I fought at. We all fought at the same national tournaments,” said Bradley.
“We were together and we all knew each other. Even Andre Berto’s trainer, Tony Morgan, we all know everybody. We support one another. We know that when we face each other, it’s the boxing game. This is just boxing, and you’ve got to face the best out there.”
Just as he believes Peterson will overcome Khan, Bradley said he thinks Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) will win the rematch against Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs), who dethroned Berto as WBC welterweight beltholder by unanimous decision last April in a clash that featured two knockdowns by each fighter.
Ortiz was subsequently dethroned after a fourth-round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September, the same month during which Berto rebounded by beating IBF welterweight titleholder Jan Zaveck by fifth-round knockout.