WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley addressed a number of topics during a recent media conference call in advance of his June 9 clash with WBO welterweight belt owner Manny Pacquiao, whom he will challenge at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Bradley (28-0, 12 knockouts) revealed his belief that he is a better fighter than Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) at close range, and that he already has planned a post-fight celebration party for the MGM Grand.
Bradley also discussed drug testing, which was the subject of controversy surrounding the recent cancelation of two bouts, in addition to having been a stumbling block toward a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Despite his skills having been maligned by Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, Bradley is expressing surpreme confidence heading into his bout with the southpaw Pacquiao.
“As you can tell, he’s a very focused guy and he’s very hyper and lit and he gives a thousand percent. I’ve never seen anybody more focused or set on getting stuff done than him,” said Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin.
“I mean, he’s got an incredible work ethic and thinks about it, watches it, eats is, sleeps it, I mean, he really takes his career more seriously than anyone I’ve ever seen.”
That pride as well as his skills were evident during Badley’s past two victories over ex-titlewinner Devon Alexander and former four-time titleholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor, by decision and eighth-round knockout, respectively.
“When he gets in there, Tim is smart. I mean, I’ve seen him box, I’ve seen him go around guys and step around guys,” said Dunkin. “I’ve seen him use angles. I’ve also seen him put on major pressure if he feels that it’s there. He’s capable of doing so many different things.”
Bradley also believes that his counterpunching abilities are “10 times better” than those of Juan Manuel Marquez, whom Pacquiao has battled through a draw, and victories by split- and majority decision.
Dunkin gave an assessment of Bradley’s overall abilities.
“He’s such a great athlete. He’s so strong. He’s got such fast feet. He can do so many things. If he feels that he has to go and get it, then he’ll go and get it,” said Dunkin.
“If he feels that he needs to do something to the side or go back or go around, he finds a way to win. He’s a true, true winner, and a true warrior. I don’t know what I’m going to see, that night, but I know that I’m going to see a great Tim Bradley.”
Below are Bradley’s comments:
Tim Bradley on his conditioning:
“I’m ready for this moment. I’m ready to take the throne. I’m excited. Training and preparation has been going great. I’m in the best shape of my life. I probably, at the end of camp, will have sparred over 160 rounds. I’ve been training for almost three months now.
“I’m dialed in. I’m on weight. I left the gym at 147 pounds today. So I will be coming probably kind of light the day of the weigh-ins. Maybe 145 or maybe 144. I’m just eating a little more. I’m feeling great. Confident. I’m ready to deliver.”
On Freddie Roach’s assessment of his abilities, which has included comparing Bradley unfavorably to Ricky Hatton, a second-round knockout victim of Pacquiao’s:
“I know what I’m trained and prepared to do. I know that I come to fight and they know that I come to fight, so there’s no real secret to this. In order to beat the champion, you’ve definitely got to take it to the champion.
“That’s what we have set out to do. We’ve set out to win this fight and not to dance around and look pretty. So I don’t care what Freddie Roach says, I don’t care what Manny Pacquiao says, I’m ready to go.”
On his performance against Casamayor, which included an effective body attack against a southpaw:
“My last couple of fights, the guys have just been holding me all night. So, you know, it really makes it hard for me to get my work in. But I can systematically break them down. I take every punch away from them, starting with the jab.
“Then I take their straight left away and go to the body and break them down. And I apply the pressure. You know, if you’re not hitting hard in there, and I don’t feel threatened, I’m going to take it to you. So, my last couple of opponents have been great southpaws, although Casamayor was a little old.
“But he’s still very crafty. You know, they said that he had tremendous power, but I didn’t feel any power in there. So what did I do? I stepped to him all night and I brought the pressure. The way that I felt, my intensity level is very high.
“Most guys can’t fight at a high pace like me. So I used my conditioning and my strength to my advantage to win the majority of my fights most of the time. In this fight, I’m definitely going to have to be a lot smarter. Because they say that Pacquiao hits very hard with the left hand and the right hook.
“So, you know I’ll be able to feel him out in the first round and see what he has. And if he does have some power, then I’ll definitely have to be smart in there.I’ll have to outbox this guy. But if I feel that he can’t hurt me, then I’m definitely going to step to him and I’ll make a fight out of it.”
On how he will handle Pacquiao’s straight left hand:
“But now, I’m eluding it.Getting to the side, stepping underneath it. It’s great defense, great footwork, great counter punching. I’ve been looking really good.
“That’s pretty much how I’ve been doing it, man. I haven’t been getting hit a lot in training camp, and I’m dialed in on this, man. I’m ready for his straight left hand.”
On Pacquiao’s power:
“We sparred, and I think that this kid threw 165 punches in one round and he’s a big puncher, so my eyes were wide open when this guy was throwing punches at me, man.
“I mean, I was ducking and weaving and boxing and trying to pretty much get this big guy up off of me. He came in and tried to take my head off.
“So that’s how we’ve prepared. Most of the time, we’ve had three or four sparring partners. I’ve gone a few rounds with each of them.
“Each sparring partner is fresh, and they come in when I’m extremely tired, so my eyes were definitely wide open. I was able to definitely do very well. On my counterpunching and I was able to break the guys down.”