Timothy Bradley: ďI think Iíll be able to match up with Pacquiao speed for speed and punch for punchĒ
by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - The most recent edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) who is scheduled to face WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs)on June 9. Bradley spoke about his upcoming fight with Pacquiao and also shared opinions on other current boxing news, including his views on the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather Junior and Miguel Cotto, as well as the rematch between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan. Here is a complete transcript from that interview:
Article posted on 14.02.2012
JENNA J: Okay Geoff, well letís move things over to our final guest of this weekís show and heís involved in one of the biggest fights coming up this year. We are joined once again by the WBO light welterweight champion of the world Timothy Bradley. Howís everything going today Tim?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Oh you know everything is going well. Everything is lovely right now and Iím excited.
JENNA: Alright, well thatís the big news out there, something thatís getting the fans excited. Youíll be facing off against Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at the MGM Grand. How do you feel about getting this opportunity?
BRADLEY: You know what? This is a long time dream of mine. Itís been a long time coming. Eighteen years of my life Iíve prepared for this moment. I seized the moment over in England. I definitely want to seize this moment as well. Iím getting a crack at one of the best fighters pound-for-pound in the game. Iím very excited! I definitely want to thank Manny Pacquiao for challenging me; and my manager, manager of the year Cameron Dunkin; my wife; and Team Bradley, and especially Top Rank for making this happen. So Iím very excited and Iím ready to shock the world.
JENNA: Alright. Well you know Tim you took a lot of criticism over the last year because of your decision not to fight Amir Khan. But now that this move has paid off in less than a year and now that you are getting the fight that you want, a big money fight, a big high profile fight against Manny Pacquiao, how does it feel that that all worked out for you?
BRADLEY: You know what? We set out. We had a plan. I had a dream. You know I did take a lot of heat in the media, and you know like I always said I was going to get the last laugh at the end. Iíve always known that. Iíve always felt that way. Iíll get the last laugh now. Everything that everybody said about me in the past, hey check this out! Iím fighting Manny Pacquiao. It makes me feel good that the plan actually worked out. Cameron Dunkin man, Cameron Dunkin made this happen. Heís just a great manager, man. I really appreciate him for that, including my wife for just keeping me focused on the plan. It was tough because I was hearing all this criticism, and I was like, ďMan just let me go in and beat this guy up already!Ē, and she was like, ďNo, no, no!Ē So Iím just very happy. Iím very happy to get this shot.
JENNA: You know Tim, with all the talk that was going around before you got this shot, whether it was Mayweather-Pacquiao or Pacquiao vs. Peterson, did you have any doubts yourself that youíd get this opportunity?
BRADLEY: You know I did. I did have some doubts. You know Iím not going to lie. I was sitting and watching guys fight in December and then seeing them get dates in like early March. Iím just like, ďDude, I just fought in November, whereís my date at?Ē I just wanted to fight. Whether it was with Manny Pacquiao or not, I just want to fight. So like stop holding up things, I was very impatient. But me being patient definitely helped out. My wife definitely helped me stay patient, and sheís like, ďJust look at the overall picture. Just look at the overall picture. Just wait. Just wait. Just waitĒ. You know. You never know whatís going to happen. Boxing changes day in and day out. So by the minute something can change. So I just believed in what she said. I believed in my manager. He was going to get it done and it ended up happening. You know I heard that Marquez was in the mix as well. I said, ďOkay, I donít know if anyone wants to see that rematch again. Itís going to be the same thing over and overĒ. Then Freddie Roach came out and said that he wants to part of Juan Manuel Marquez anymore unless they have to do it again sometime later in the year or next year or something like that. Freddie was saying he was sick of rematches, so I was just like, ďGreat, now Cotto might be outĒ. Cotto didnít want to squeeze back down to 147, although I thought that would have been a great matchup again because boxing is a business. At the end of the day, if that was going to be the fight that was going to be the fight. I was just saying, ďWhen am I going to fight?Ē Then everything just played out right. Lamont Peterson, I already beat him, so that wouldnít make any sense for him to fight him. So through process of elimination I thought I was that guy that they were looking for. I said you know what? Iím that guy that theyíre looking for. You know Floyd was talking okay in the beginning, and then he started talking stupid. ď50-50, noóI want 70-30Ē. Iím just like, ďDude, youíre crazy! Thatís not going to happen and itís not going to happen in May, eitherĒ. So thatís when I felt I was going to get it.
JENNA: Alright well Tim letís talk about the challenge that you have in front of you. Many people consider Manny Pacquiao the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Do you consider him that?
BRADLEY: No. No, I think heís one of the best fighters give or take. Depending on where you have him or where you rank him at one or two, I think Floyd Mayweather is the best fighter pound-for-pound in the game right now as we speak. So you know, I think that Manny Pacquiao is a tremendous fighter. You know he has proven himself over and over and over, fighting trilogies, and fighting rematches with guys like Barrera and Morales and Marquez, which is always a great matchup with him, and beating these guys like De La Hoya and Shane. He has a long list of fights, but in that long list he hasnít fought someone thatís hungry and young and just as energetic as he is. He hasnít fought a guy that loves to mix it up and can box as well if he needs to, someone that doesnít really get hit too much during a fight, someone thatís very elusive and smart. I feel he hasnít seen that type of fighter in a long time. A lot of the guys heís been facing, yeah they do have names, theyíve been around for awhile, but theyíre past their primes. You know Iím right in my prime, so I think that I will definitely give him a great matchup on June 9.
JENNA: People say Tim that the blueprint to beat Manny Pacquiao is out there, that Juan Manuel Marquez wrote that blueprint, that you just have to turn him and put him on his back foot and heís not effective. Do you see that and do you think thatís the type of game plan youíre going to follow to beat him on June 9?
BRADLEY: I mean of course you got to look at fighters that definitely gave him problems in there and see what theyíre doing and seeing if he can make those type of adjustments. You know Marquez himself has a very unique style. He looks like heís very easy to hit, but heís very hard and very clever. I mean heís a very strong fighter, so him and Manny Pacquiao, Marquez fought him three times already so itís always going to be a tough matchup. The first matchup was a great fight. You know Marquez made the adjustments and came back in the fight and put up a heck of a fight. I feel that Iím definitely watching the tape. Iím definitely going to try and use some of his tactics that he used in the fight to help me with my game plan, but then again I also want to throw a little bit of me in there, and take chances, and make a fight out of it sometimes. Iím thinking about all of the aboveófight a little bit, brawl a little bit, box a little bit, and just kind of mix it up in there and try to outthink Manny Pacquiao.
JENNA: Okay! Well Tim, Iím also on the line with my Co-Host Geoff Ciani.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hey Tim, itís a great pleasure to have you back on the show.
BRADLEY: Oh absolutely man, as always thank you.
CIANI: Building on what you said, I notice a lot of people that are kind of counting you out at the offset of this are saying that the reason you wonít match up as well against Pacquiao is because a guy like Marquez was a counterpuncher whereas youíre more of an aggressive pressure type fighter. Do you think these people are underestimating your versatility that are counting you out in that regard?
BRADLEY: Yeah. You know in my last couple of fights, Iíve been fighting guys that are basically pressure, I disrupt their rhythm and I can just basically take it to them and win the match. So you know styles make fights. I know that I canít just do that with Manny Pacquiao, because heís a tremendous counterpuncher, he hits hard, heís very fast, heís very elusive in his own way with his feet, and he sets up a lot of punches with his feet and feints. So I think that a lot of people are counting me out already because they are saying that Bradley doesnít have the power to hurt Manny Pacquiao, or at 147 heís a smaller guy. Theyíre making these opinions about me, but they really donít know where I come from. They really donít know my background. At 16 years old I wasnít at 116 pounds. I was 152 pounds fighting in the amateurs fighting guys 6í, 5í11Ē, 6í1Ē. You know. So naturally I feel Iím the bigger guy. I mean this guy, he grew to this weight. Iíve been at 150-something pounds since I was 16 years old and Iím 28 now. So you know I squeeze down to 140 to make that weight. 147 is pretty much my natural weight, so Iím a lot stronger at 147 pounds. A lot of people say the power. Manny Pacquiao, yeah he does have tremendous power, but I donít see him as a one-punch knockout guy. I think heís more of a busy fighter. He can catch you with a shot and hurt you, but itís mainly just catching you and kind of like overwhelming you with punches. You know that third shot will hurt and catch you off guard. That third shot will hurt you, because he throws punches at weird angles. So I donít see him as a one-punch knockout guy. I honestly donít. You know people can count me out. It really doesnít bother me, man. I like to be the underdog, anyway.
CIANI: Well on the flipside, a lot of the people that are picking you as a live underdog and somebody that could play the role of a spoiler in a potential Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, those peoplare pointing out that youíre a young, hungry, determined, undefeated fighter and a lot of people are saying that Pacquiao has slipped a little bit in his last two fights with Mosley, where he showed some vulnerabilities even though he dominated the fight, and of course with Marquez. Do you think the timing is right where youíre on your way up and Pacquiao could be on the slide a little bit?
BRADLEY: Absolutely! Absolutely! You know that kind of like to me is going to get to him too, because whatís going to happen is that now, the fact that Manny hasnít been looking well, now heís going to train extremely hard to look well. So like whatever he did in the past, heís going to eliminate on whatever he was doing wrong in training camp. Now heís going to be really focused on this, because in his last two performances he hasnít looked that impressive. You know he hasnít knocked anybody out in his last couple of performances. So heís definitely going to be hungrier in this fight, and heís definitely going to train harder. I think that Freddie Roach said he feels like heís going to have a hard time getting him motivated. I donít think so! I think that he has a lot to prove to his boxing fans and the boxing world, and he has a young hungry guy like myself thatís unwilling to take no for an answer. You know granted or not, to me I feel that if Manny Pacquiao doesnít hurt me in any way Iím definitely going to be in the fight. Thatís all itís going to boil down to at the end of the day. Skill for skill, I can match up with anybody in the game. Thatís how I feel. I can match up with anybody because I can make adjustments in there. But as far as the power, if I can take his shot Iím in there, man. Iím in there, and Iíll know from the first round.
CIANI: Tim changing things up, you brought up the name Floyd Mayweather a couple of times. I just wanted to get your views on his fight with Miguel Cotto, Floyd returning to 154, and just your general views and how you think that might play out?
BRADLEY: You know I think Floyd is going to just pot-shot Cotto all night, man! I think Cotto is a little bit too slow for Floyd. I think that Cotto will put up a little bit of a fight in the beginning, but I think Floyd will definitely step to him towards the middle of the fight, make him miss and make him pay, and bust Cotto up a little bit, and probably end up stopping him probably in the later rounds just from taking too much punishment.
CIANI: And I also wanted to get your view, former opponent Lamont Peterson looks like heís going to be facing Khan again. Do you think Amir can avenge the surprise upset loss he suffered at the hands of Peterson?
BRADLEY: No. I donít think Amir is going to win that fight. I think that psychologically Amir is definitely going to be hungry to redeem himself, but I donít think heís going to change as a fighter. I think heís pretty much set in stone. Heís going to fight the game plan he fought last time. Heís going to try to definitely not get in the mix with Peterson, but Peterson is just like, even in my fight, man heís just so clever at slipping in, and slipping out, and getting to you and getting to your body. Peterson I think right off the start, heís going to step right to Khan and take it to him right from the gate. So Iím thinking Peterson is going to win another split decision victory in Vegas over Khan.
JENNA: Okay well Tim, letís talk about the position that youíre in right now. Because youíre moving up to 147 your 140 pound belt is not on the line. Do you see yourself in kind of a win-win situation: win because youíre getting the biggest fight of your life right now, and even if somehow it does not go your way, youíre still the 140 pound champion whoís going to get more recognition than ever from fighting Pacquiao?
BRADLEY: Absolutely! Absolutely! I think itís a win-win all the way around the board. A lot of fight fans are definitely going to tune into this fight. I think that me being the 140 pound champion moving up to 147, yes Iím able to keep my title at 140 and win or lose I still can drop back down and face the best that 140 has to offer. But you know Iím looking to be victorious in this fight! I definitely am, and Iím so confident that I can win this fight. So after the result then Iíll be able to make my decision if I want to go back down. I may possibly stay up and face somebody else at 147 if I feel comfortable in there. So I mean there are a lot of options out there that Iíll be able to do after this fight, so Iím very happy for this opportunity.
JENNA: Now you mentioned possibly staying at 147. If you beat Pacquiao is there in fact a rematch where you have to face him again right in the next fight?
BRADLEY: You know what? I believe no. There isnít a rematch clause. No. There is no rematch clause, but I am sure if I beat Pacquiao there will be probably an immediate rematch.
JENNA: Okay! Well letís go back to your fight and my last two questions for you here. That fight with Manny Pacquiaoówhat do you think is going to be your single biggest advantage over him when you meet him on June 9?
BRADLEY: I think my durability. I think that Iím going to be durable. You know I want to say Margarito was very durable but very hittable. I think Iím that Iím elusive enough to elude a lot of his punches and make him pay, and I have very good conditioning. Iím very disciplined in staying conditioned and being in the best shape I possibly can. So you know I think Iíll be able to match up with Pacquiao speed for speed and punch for punch. Iím thinking a high output over a guy that punches in this fight. I think thatís the variable where weíre probably going to reach in this fight, over 1,000 punches over 12 rounds.
JENNA: Okay now you mentioned too before that youíre going to make it a tough fight for Pacquiao. Do you think the biggest key to victory for you is to make Manny Pacquiao uncomfortable and make it a type of situation that heís not quite used to in recent matches?
BRADLEY: Yeah. You know what? Iím definitely trying to make him uncomfortable. Iím definitely trying to do everything I can to win the fight. You know I really donít know. I mean I watched film on him. I see things that he does well. He see things that he does okay. I see things where I can make him pay. Now it just boils down to getting in the ring, and actually going to the gym, and actually perfecting the game plan, and actually getting out there, and actually doing it. You know Iíve done it in the past. This isnít anything different in this fight and Iím looking to win. Hands down, Iím looking to win! Yeah the money is great, the whole scene, the whole exposure and all of that. Yeah thatís great, but at the end the biggest benefit is beating him, and thatís what Iím looking forward to doing. Thatís it. Thatís pretty much it.
JENNA: Okay! Well finally Tim, you have a lot of fans out there, and you have a lot of people who will be seeing you for the first time when you do get in there with Manny Pacquiao. Is there anything you want to say to them and what they have to look forward to for June 9?
BRADLEY: You know what? Youíre going to witness an upset man, the upset of the year. Tim Bradley will be victorious after twelve rounds. Like I always say in all my fights, Iíll be victorious in this fight as well. Iím very confident, Iím very hungry, and Iím definitely going to train very hard, and definitely try to silence all my critics after this fight. I appreciate all my fans out there. Definitely hit me up on Twitter and Facebook ó timbradleyjr.com and @timbradleyjr at Twitter. And check out my website, timothybradleyjr.com. Thatís my website. So check it out. Get your apparel. If youíre coming out to the fight you can get your apparel online on my website. You can come in with your Tim Bradley logo, your hat and your shirt, and weíre going to have some cool things going to the fans here shortly. Iíll announce them on Twitter or on Facebook.
JENNA: Okay! Well Tim, itís been a pleasure having you once again return to On the Ropes. I thank you for your time and wish you all the best for that big fight with Manny Pacquiao June 9.
BRADLEY: Absolutely! Well I appreciate you guys and itís always a pleasure.
CIANI: Thanks Timothy. Best of luck!
BRADLEY: Thank you. Bye bye.
For those interested in listening to the Timothy Bradley interview in its entirety, it begins approximately one hour and seven minutes into the program.
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