The following are training camp notes from WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley in advance of his challenge for the WBO welterweight belt owned by Manny Pacquiao, a matchup that will take place on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO Pay Per View.
The notes were taken from an press release interview with Bradley (28-0, 12 knockouts) distributed by HBO on behalf of Top Rank Inc., the lead promoter of his bout with Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs).
Bradley signed a contract with Top Rank Inc., in late September of last year, and debuted with the company by scoring an eighth-round stoppage over former four-time titleholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor on the undercard of Pacquiao’s disputed majority decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in November.
Bradley already had bypassed a shot at then-IBF and WBA counterpart Amir Khan. Khan subsequently lost December’s disputed split-decision to Lamont Peterson, whom Bradley dropped in the third round of a clash of unbeatens for a unanimous decision win in December of 2009.
Bradley was originally scheduled to face Khan in July of last year, but he opted out. In January of last year, Bradley dethroned Devon Alexander as WBC junior welterweight beltholder by 11th-round technical decision, but was later stripped of the WBC belt by that organization based on inactivity.
Bradley discussed his past in this most recent interview.
Question for Bradley: “How does it feel getting this fight after being criticized for not taking the Amir Khan fight. Did you know this fight was coming at the time? Where you willing to take all that negativity just to get this fight with Pacquiao?”
“In boxing criticism is part of the game. You hear it before, during and after very fight. I have learned to let it roll off me like water off a duck’s back. Experience told me that the timing for the Amir Khan fight was wrong. I had already fought and won two world title unification fights against Kendall Holt and Devon Alexander. Both were big victories but because of the timing of when they took place I didn’t realize the full financial potential that I feel I should have.
“When the Amir Khan world title unification fight was presented I was determined not to be pushed into it. Business as usual was no longer acceptable and certain changes had to be made. I went over all the details with my team, debated the merits and decided it was not the best deal. I heard the criticism. I read the criticism. But deep down I knew, based on what was being offered to me, it was not the right deal. It was a business decision. And if it’s one thing I have learned as a professional boxer it’s this, sometimes the deal you don’t make is the best deal you do make.
“I am thrilled beyond compare that I am challenging Manny Pacquiao. I was at the right place at the right time. But I’m also deserving of this fight. I have been a world champion since 2008. I have unified the titles twice. I’m undefeated. I’m the best in my division. I feel I made the right decision not only for my career but for my life – for my family. Looking back at it I can say that it was definitely worth enduring all the negativity directed toward me.
“I am now in a place where I will be able to accomplish another one of my goals in life and that is to fight the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. This is a huge challenge for me personally and professionally. It feels great to get the fight with Manny Pacquiao. It’s going to feel even better when I beat him. You can take that to the bank.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com