Timothy Bradley: “Everybody knows Khan’s a phony now”

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This week’s 153rd edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with the reigning WBO junior welterweight world champion Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs). Bradley spoke about his previous victim Lamont Peterson’s (30-1-1, 15 KOs) recent upset victory against Ami Khan (26-2, 18 KOs). He also discussed a possible rematch with Peterson, a potential fight with Khan, and shared his views on how he believes a rematch between Khan and Peterson would unfold. Here is what Bradley had to say in the interview:

His views on Lamont Peterson’s upset victory against Amir Khan last weekend:

“You know what? I thought Peterson was going to bring a good fight, but I didn’t think he was going to win the fight and he proved me wrong. Peterson brought it too Khan, and I said if he brought it to him he has a good chance of winning the fight. Then I did say it’s in his hometown, so that will definitely help him as well with the boxing fans, and whatever anybody wants to say with the judges, or ref, or whatever. So I mean he put on a great performance. It was a great fight, man! I really enjoyed watching it. It was fun to watch. It was a crowd-pleasing fight and I really enjoyed it at home.”

His views on Khan’s performance in his split decision loss against Peterson:

“Well you know, like I’ve always said, payback is a bitch and karma is a bitch. When I was down he kicked me into the mud, and I hated it! You know what I mean? There was nothing I could do because of my situation that I was in and I was going through legal issues. I couldn’t really talk. I couldn’t really say anything and voice my opinion on why I didn’t want to fight Khan at that given moment. But now Peterson beat him. I beat Peterson a couple of years ago. A lot of people are saying he’s better now than he was a couple of years ago. He probably wasn’t ready for me at the time when he did face me. But you know he’s still pretty much to me, he’s probably mentally stronger, but as far as skill-wise he’s at the same level and I beat him. It’s just funny to see. I know styles make fights, but my style is tailor-made for Khan, and everybody will see that when we do face each other. I think it’s still a great fight to be held somewhere in the future. Now that he’s lost, it’s a little further away now. So Khan’s got to do some rebuilding now or win back his titles. I hear there is a rematch clause going on in effect. If Peterson wants to do that—hey, whatever. You know like I said I’m on my own mission. I got a purpose in this boxing game and I’m definitely going to be following the plan that we have structured.”

On whether he feels Lamont Peterson won the fight or Amir Khan lost the fight:

“I thought Lamont Peterson won the fight. I thought Khan, going into the last round, was winning the fight because I think he had a really good eleventh round. But as far as winning the fight with the point deductions and the whole knockdown thing, I thought Peterson won the fight. I haven’t watched the replay but at the time when I was scoring it, going into the eighth round it was even. It was dead even going into the eighth round. Once I watch the replay then I can really give you a good assessment on who won the fight and if Khan won the fight, but as of right now I feel that Peterson won the fight. Absolutely.”

His views on why Khan was constantly backing up against the light punching Peterson:

“Well Lamont Peterson, like I said, he just has a way of applying pressure. It’s not reckless pressure, but he just has a way. He has pretty good defense, slipping and sliding, and very elusive in the ring, and he’s very athletic and very skillful. Like I said, he got to me! He hit me with those same body shots, so I know how Khan was feeling after that fight. He came in and tried to break me down, and go to my body, and weaken me. But I persevered. I guess Khan does have guts. I think he’s going to learn a lot from this fight. It’s a reality check for him and his team. They need to humble themselves, man! It’s okay to be confident in your abilities, but like humble yourself man! This is a humbling fight for him. So I hope he learns from all of his mistakes that he’s made. It’s a fight of course, and you want to show heart, but dude! When you’re sitting on the ropes taking overhand rights, right hooks to the head, and those body shots, and you’re acting like, ‘You’re not doing nothing, you’re not doing nothing’! You got be kidding me. He’s getting to you! I think if he would have actually fought back on the ropes or even tied Lamont up and let him get off, he would have been better off man! There are a lot of things he can learn from this fight. Will he learn from it? I don’t know, but we’re going to have to see.”

His views on the fact he has now regained the universal recognition as the best junior welterweight in the world without having been in the ring:

“Well whether people had me on the roster one or two really didn’t matter to me. I always felt that I was number one, even when they had Khan number one with the Ring Belt championship or whatever. Was it fair? Yeah, it was fair to give him that position with the fact that I didn’t face him at that time. So you know, if he was number one I was cool with being number two. But in my heart and in my mind, I felt that I was number one anyway. I felt deep down inside that Khan couldn’t beat me. If you go and look at some of my reviews and some of my interviews on YouTube explaining about the fight, I was actually word for word on exactly what happened with how to beat Khan—and I’ve done the same thing with how to beat Manny Pacquiao. You know. You just got to get in there and do these things and you can beat these guys. I’m a student of the game. I study fighters. I watch fighters all the time. I study their habits. I know what they look to do, I know what they don’t like, and I use that to my abilities when I do fight them and I’ve been very successful doing it.”

On whether he feels Amir Khan fought the wrong fight and unemployed the wrong strategy:

“You know what? Khan was fighting the right fight! He was fighting the right fight, but if you look at a lot of Roach’s guys, they like to lay on those ropes man! Even Manny likes to lay on those ropes, and they have a straight up and down defense. So that’s where he lost the fight, when he allowed Lamont to get in position and land those body shots on him and sit on the ropes, instead of doing the smart veteran way and tying the guy up, or learning how to tie a guy up, and learning how to take little breathers in the ring. Khan only knows one speed man, and that’s full speed. So he’ll fight you real quick sporadically, and then he has to recharge because he throws so many friggin’ combinations. A fighter who’s elusive can get away, get away, and step inside on him. He’s going to have problems with anybody who’s elusive and able to get inside on him and work his body. Looking back, I think that he fought the right fight. He just didn’t have the gas tank and he didn’t have the mental capacity to keep the focus throughout the whole fight, because Lamont brings a lot of pressure. He didn’t have that focus to do it for the whole fight. I think the holding definitely hurt him in this fight, but I think that last point definitely hurt him big time because Khan could have won that fight! But that last point that the ref took for him—granted a lot of people said it was wrong because he was doing that, but if you go back and you watch the fight you’ll see how many times this guy warned him before he actually took that point. He warned him like three or four times before he took that point for pushing off. There’s a difference between doing a little shove, but this guy was literally like pushing him with his forearm and his elbow, pushing him off like, hard! Lamont goes and says he didn’t care about that, but he was pushing his head down as well! You know, and Lamont was like in his chest. He was at chest level when he was pushing his head down to the canvas, and that was a foul as well. So you know the ref was in there doing his job and he saw what he saw. The ref I think miscalculated that knockdown in the fight and gave Khan a knockdown when it was a slip. But hey! That’s what it is. I mean I wasn’t the ref in that fight. He did the job in there the best way he could, and that was that.”

On whether he thought Peterson would be awarded the victory after the first two scorecards were read as a split with one judge favoring Khan and the other Peterson:

“Yeah. Yeah! I did. I knew it was going to go his way. My wife and I were sitting home and she looked at me. She was like, ‘He’s going to lose. They’re going to take it from him’, and I was like, ‘No they’re not, no they’re not’. It’s in his backyard, man. You know. I mean where Khan and his people said it shows he’s a man, and this and that, and this and that. We’re going into another fighter’s hometown and fighting him there. That’s just arrogant. To me that’s just arrogance and stupidity. I mean that’s ridiculous. He should have never fought him in his hometown. To me they say Khan is a huge draw, then why didn’t they do it in Vegas? You know? I mean why didn’t they do it in Vegas? I mean Khan’s been there. He’s fought there many times. I feel that his promoter—his promoter basically set him up for disaster, because he brought it to Peterson’s hometown. Peterson, him and Khan, they brought a house full of people into that arena to make more money. So it backfired on them. It completely backfired on them, and now I think Khan wants a rematch in England. Peterson would be stupid to go to England and rematch him in England. You know. He would be stupid to do that. That’s not a good move. If they’re going to do a rematch, they should do it on neutral territory—Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, I mean New York. Somewhere where it makes sense and it’s neutral, and there is no conflict of interest with any judges, or any conspiracies with refs, and all this stuff.”

On whether he was disappointed that Khan lost because it may have cost him a big fight opportunity on the near horizon if Bradley cannot land a fight with Manny Pacquiao:

“Well you know I definitely wanted to face Khan sometime next year. Absolutely I voiced my opinion to Bob Arum and my manager and everything. Bob has sent a couple of quotes out there saying we would love to fight Khan in 2012. But now I think it’s a little bit on the backburner right now because coming off of this loss, he’s either going to have to rebuild or he’s definitely going to have to get that rematch. So we’re going to have to see what he’s going to do. As far as I go, there is always that option to fight Lamont Peterson again, and I have thrown that out there. Hey! If you want a shot a third belt, let’s have a rematch. I’ll let you try and redeem yourself. They say you’re better when you’re champion, and that’s true. I feel that you fight 20% or 30% better when you are champion, because you have that confidence now, and he’s going to bring that into the ring. I would love to fight Peterson. If he wants to fight somebody next or whatever, and then fight me or whatever. But if I can’t get Manny, I would love to fight Peterson, or Amir, or any of the top guys out there.”

On whether he ever imagined that a Peterson rematch would make sense somewhere down the line immediately following his one-sided victory over Lamont:

“Yeah! Yeah! I knew that and I told him that after the fight. Yeah I knew that, because like I said Peterson was a tough, tough guy. You know he was a tough guy, and he’s very durable. I knew when he fought Victor Ortiz and he survived that onslaught and ended up earning a draw with him, I was like wow! Fighting me definitely did him some justice, because this kid definitely has heart and determination, and he has ability to give anybody hell in that ring because he’s so determined. I was like wow! I couldn’t believe it. I sat there actually ringside and watched that fight. It definitely brings a lot of interest if we were to have a rematch, and I definitely though that one day we would have a rematch. Like I said, when I fought him he was very strong and very determined. I’ve known him since the amateurs, so I know exactly how he trains. I know him very well, like he knows me very well.”

Regarding what surprised him most about the bout between Khan and Peterson:

“Yeah, you know what? What really surprised me was the way Khan looked under pressure. I knew he couldn’t take pressure, but Peterson’s not a big, big puncher. So I didn’t understand the reason why he was moving around the ring, but I also said he doesn’t have that one-punch knockout power but he does sting you. I’m sure Khan felt those little stings, especially with that right hook and those body shots. He’s a devastating body puncher man, because I felt them. Other than the way that Khan fought, I think that was a little different from me. You know I didn’t expect that from Khan. I knew he was quick. He looked good in the first couple of rounds. I was like that guy is quick! Okay. Alright. I see it, but I knew around the fourth he always slows down, and Peterson! He steps up. When I fought him, I dropped him in the third and after I dropped him he just became this completely different beast in the ring. He showed a lot of heart and determination, so after about the fourth I was like—uh-oh! Khan’s in trouble. Khan is definitely in trouble, because Peterson gets stronger as the fight goes on. He gets stronger. Once Peterson was closing the gap and he started to see Khan fading and he started banging his body and actually doing some damage in there, his confidence went up. Once his confidence went up I knew it was going to be a long night for Khan.”

His views on Khan’s loss in light of the fact that Khan has aimed a lot of trash-talk in Tim’s direction during recent years, and whether this loss hurts his credibility following some of his previous statements:

“Yeah, absolutely it hurts his credibility because now everybody knows who the real number one champion is. Everybody knows Khan’s a phony now. Khan’s a kid, but he isn’t ready for the big leagues yet and that’s what shows. Peterson is an elite fighter now. He fought a good guy and he beat a superstar. You know that’s what they were saying on TV. ‘This is a superstar! You know Peterson is going to need a superstar performance!’ I sat there and I just laughed. I was like man ya’ll just don’t know. Khan got exposed, man. He got exposed. If he gets in there with the right fighter he can get exposed again, unless he goes back to the gym and just magically gets better within the next three or four months, which I doubt because old habits stay with you.”

His views on Khan’s claims that he was robbed and cheated in this fight:

“He needs to grow up as a person. You know, you don’t cry about the decision. He’s the one that made his bed. You’re the one that made your bed man! You know it probably never would have happened if it took place in England or a neutral territory or whatever. Before the fight they agreed to all these terms. So what are you crying about? You know. They agreed to the ref. They agreed to all the officials. I know when I get ready to fight, I need to know who the ref is, I need to know who the officials are. I need to know all of these things. If I’m cool with it then hey, I’ll go with the fight. But if I’m not, I’m like hey I don’t like that! I don’t like that guy! He’s terrible at this or that. So I let them know. This is a learning experience for Khan, hands down. It’s a learning experience for him. He definitely needs to grow up and learn that you don’t need to talk so much trash, man. You know. I mean you don’t need to do all of that, because then you get slapped right in the face just like this fight. You get slapped right in the face and it’s like, oh man! Now what are you going to do?”

His views on how a Peterson-Khan rematch would play out if the fight were held on neutral territory:

“Lamont wins! Lamont wins the fight. Lamont’s going to beat him again, but worse this time because Khan can’t adjust. Peterson already knows! He’s been in there with him. When you fight Peterson a second time he makes his adjustments. He sat back and he waited at some points a little bit too long to attack. You know in the beginning he started out boxing. He should have been aggressive from the beginning. From the start he should have been banging to the body and getting inside of him. He was trying to outbox him. That’s why he was getting caught over the top with that right hand. You know Khan is a straight one-two puncher as a fighter. He lets his hands go, one-two, one-two, or one-two, hook, with a right. He’s just like a combination punching type of dude. He let him get off and that was the wrong thing to do. So in the second fight what he’s going to do is step straight to him and he’s going to start attacking that body right off the bat, and Khan’s going to be holding and trying to run around the ring again. Unless, like I said, he gets better in the next few months, and works on some things, and changes some things up. I think that Lamont is going to bring it to him, and it’s going to be worse this time because he’s going to make those adjustments.”

His views on whether Khan would deserve a 50-50 fight with Bradley should Amir win his titles back, given the fact Amir previously stated he would only do a 70-30 split with Bradley:

“Ha ha ha! HA! That is funny! Oh my goodness. Well, no. 50-50 sounds fair to me. That’s funny! 70-30! That’s unbelievable. Yeah. That’s way unbelievable. Khan is not a big attraction either in the United States. I think that’s very funny. But yeah 50-50, that’s fair. I mean hey! Why not? Let’s make the fight happen.”

In the event Khan and Bradley never meet, his views on what he thinks the fans will perceive as the number one roadblock to the fight:

“Bradley’s going to duck him a third time. Ha ha ha ha! I don’t know why. I mean I don’t know why. Honestly I really don’t know. There is no reason for the fight not to happen. If it’s going to happen it’s going to happen. It’s a fight that I still want, because I definitely want to bust him in his mouth after talking all that crap. I don’t forget man. I forget, but I don’t forget and I definitely want to avenge that mouth of his and definitely put some bruises around his eyes and his face. So that fight’s going to happen. Whether he wins or he loses, we still will get it on.”


For those interested in listening to the Timothy Bradley interview in its entirety, it begins approximately nine minutes into the program.



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Article posted on 16.12.2011

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