Boxing


Timothy Bradley - "I Want Fights That Mean Something!"

Timothy BradleyExclusive Interview by James Slater - WBO light-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, 25-0(11) is a frustrated man at present. Despite being a fighter who has proven , and wants to go on proving, he is a warrior who seeks out only the best possible opposition, "Desert Storm" has been unable to land a big fight to his satisfaction. Recently calling out names like Juan Manuel Marquez, Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton, to name a few, Bradley has been left without a signed deal.

Set to fight again on June 5th, in what will be his first fight since December of last year, the undefeated, incredibly hungry 26-year-old awaits confirmation of who the opponent will be. There was talk of a fight with WBC lightweight king Edwin Valero, who wanted to move up in weight, but so far nothing has been made official - much to Tim's disappointment (disappointment Bradley could not hide in the following interview; even though he was still friendly and accommodating).

Here is what the big fight-craving light-welterweight champion had to say yesterday evening (UK time) in reply to my questions:


James Slater: Thank you so much for your time, Champ. We hear you are fighting again on June 5th?
Timothy Bradley: Yes, hopefully against Ricky Hatton (laughs).

J.S: I think Ricky would need to lose quite a few pounds before being ready for you, Tim!

T.B: Yeah, I'm fighting on June 5th, I'm just waiting on who the opponent will be.

J.S: I read about how you could maybe fight Edwin Valero, once his cut has healed?

T.B: Valero don't want to fight.

J.S: That fight won't happen then? I read how your promoter, Gary Shaw, is so sure you'd school Valero the fight would happen in Mexico. But no chance of it happening?

T.B: He [Valero] would fight, but his people don't want the fight. But, hey, as you know, anything's possible in boxing - things can change overnight. But I've had no calls from my promoter about that fight. Bob Arum said he wanted it, but as of now I'm still waiting to hear who I'll be fighting next. I don't just want it to be some Joe Blow from down the street - I want to fight a top name. I always want to fight the top names - fights that mean something. You know, Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, Paulie Malignaggi, Juan Manuel Marquez, Victor Ortiz; who else? All those guys, you know?

J.S: Are you frustrated at how these names are avoiding you?

T.B: Absolutely! I worked so hard to prove to the world that I am number-one, and now I can't keep proving it because nobody will fight me! It's time these guys got off their high horse and agreed to fight me. You know, there's no point in these guy's promoters avoiding a fight - come on, we can make it a 50-50 thing! There's no problem at all with money - I just wanna fight the top guys.

J.S: This fight on June 5th, will be your first fight this year. You must be anxious to get back in action - ready to fight?

T.B: Yeah, oh yes! I was hoping for May, but it's been pushed back and pushed back. Nobody wants to fight me, but I have to be patient. Something will come up soon. I thought things were going well with the Amir Khan fight. We were talking with Frank Warren after the Lamont Peterson fight, and it seemed as though the figures were down. I was like, let's do it! But now, nothing! Khan doesn't want to fight me. There was a possibility I could have fought Paulie Malignaggi (instead of Khan, who is close to facing Malignaggi on May 15th), and we also offered Zab Judah a fight. But Zab says he wants to wait and weigh up his options. We also called out Victor Ortiz and [Marcos] Maidana, we spoke with Golden Boy. Everyone at 140 has a fight but me (laughs). But it's cool, they will wear each other out and then I'll get a fight. But it's all a little frustrating to me - all those possible fights, and I'm left with no-one now (laughs).

J.S: I can understand your frustration, Tim. We all love watching you fight, and it must be so annoying for you when the top names don't want to know! You always make 140 easily - would you go up to 147 to get a big, big fight?

T.B: I've already said it. I'd fight Shane [Mosley], Floyd [Mayweather], [Miguel] Cotto - any of those guys. I actually feel stronger up at 147 as hard as that may sound. I like it when all these guys underestimate me - I like being the underdog. They don't know about me, my background, where I've come from, what I've been through. I love proving people wrong. I just want the opportunity. But, yeah, 147 would be no problem for me.

J.S: Just talking about Khan-Malignaggi - who wins in your opinion?

T.B: It's a good fight. Khan has to be aggressive, and Paulie has a great jab. Khan has had trouble with the jab in the past in my opinion. I lean towards Khan to win, because he's just as fast as Malignaggi, if not even faster, and he's stronger and he has more power - and he also has Freddie Roach, who will devise a plan that could give Paulie fits. But I don't write Paulie off. He can make Khan miss. It's a good fight, but I lean towards Khan.

J.S: You feel you are better than all of those guys though? Khan, Malignaggi, Ortiz, Maidana, etc?

T.B: I do. I want to fight, let's do it! I mean, I don't know why Khan went for a fight with Paulie Malignaggi when he had a fight right here with me! He wants to prove he's number-one? Let's do it! Like I say, I'm so frustrated, but I have to be patient.

J.S: It's always a pleasure speaking with you, Champ. But I can sense your frustration and anger. It is crazy that you, the champ at 140, cannot get any fight with a big name! We still look ahead to your next fight in June - hopefully that will be against someone with a name.

T.B: As long as he has a name, that will be okay (laughs). I'll be in great shape and I look forward to fighting on June 5th. Thanks for the call.

Article posted on 22.02.2010



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