Beating Pacquiao: A Conversation with Tim Bradley05/31/2012
BOB ARUM: I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday weekend. I was just at the gym with Timothy at his media workout in Palm Springs yesterday and he looks tremendous and we’re looking forward to a great-great fight. One thing that I have to say that hit me immediately is how confident he is about the battle that will take place at the MGM Grand Arena on June 9.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I want to thank God for this opportunity and I want to thank my manger Cameron Dunkin, Top Rank, Bob and of course I want to thank Pacquiao and his team for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime. The time is already here, the moment. I am ready to take the throne. I’m excited. Training and preparation has been going great. I am in the best shape of my life. When we are done I will have sparred about 160 rounds. I have been training for almost three months now. I am on weight. I left the gym at 147 pounds today so I will probably be coming in kind of light the day of the weigh-in maybe 145 or 144. I am just eating a little bit more and I feel great. I am confident and I am ready to deliver.
CAMERON DUNKIN: This here is the biggest fight for me and I am just so proud of Tim. I went and say him last Friday and like Bob said, his confidence is just unbelievable. He’s taking this real serious and I think you’re going to see a new champion real soon.
Roach thinks your style is taylor made for Pacquiao…
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I don’t care what Freddie Roach thinks. He isn’t in the ring fighting for Pacquiao and he isn’t in my training camp. He can say whatever he wants. I know I am training and prepared to do what I need to do. I know I come to fight and they know I come to fight. There is no secret to this. In order to beat the champion you’ve got to take it to the champion. We are set out to win this fight and not sit around and look pretty. I don’t care what he says or what Pacquiao says, I am ready to go.
Do you think your fight against Casamayor, a crafty veteran, will help you in this fight?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I systematically break guys down. I get in the ring and they say I don’t have any power but then they feel me and feel my strength. As soon as they get his they want to hold me. The last couple of fights guys have been holding me all night. It makes it hard for me to really get my work in. I break them down and take every punch away from them. Starting with the jab, I take that away then a take the straight left away. Hit them in the body, break them down and apply the pressure. If you’re not hitting hard in there and I don’t feel threatened then I’m going to take it to you. My last opponents have been southpaw. Casamayor is a little over the hill, but he is still craft and people said he had tremendous power but I didn’t feel any power. So I stepped in there and brought the pressure to him all night. My pace was high and most people can’t fight at that pace which is my strength and how I wing the fights the majority of the time. This fight I will have to be a lot smarter. Pacquiao hits hard with the right and the left hand so I’ll be able to feel out in the first round and see what he really has. If he does have some power then I will definitely have to be smarter in there and outbox this guy. But if I don’t feel like he can hurt me then I’m definitely going to step to him to make a fight out of it.
CAMERON DUNKIN: As you can tell he is a very focused guy. He is hyper and lit and gives 1000%. I have never seen anyone more focused on getting stuff done than him. He has incredible work ethic. He eats it, watches it, sleeps it, breaths it. He takes his career more seriously than anyone I have ever seen. Tim is smart. I’ve seen him box. I’ve seen him go around guys, change angles. I have also seen him put on major pressure if he feels that. He is capable of doing so many things. He is such a great athlete. He is so strong with such fast feet. If he feels like he’s got to go get it he’ll go get it. He finds a way to win. He is a true winner and a real warrior. I don’t know what I’m going to see that night but I’m going to see a great Tim Bradley.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I am so confident I am just ready. I am in the best shape of my life. I didn’t put in the time in the gym - and for the last 4 years I have been studying this guy, looking at this guy, I have admired this guy. This is my time. An opportunity of a lifetime and I’m going to give it 110%. I’m putting it all on the line so you are going to see a great fight. If you miss this fight you are going to miss some greatness. At the end of the day I’m putting it all on the line. I’m not in there to survive. I’m not in there for a paycheck. I am in there to win. This is the beginning of a new career. This is like my first fight all over again. That’s the reason I wanted to be with Top Rank because they build superstars and this is my opportunity right here.
How do you plan to deal with Pacquiao’s left?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Oh man. I know in training I’m not getting hit a whole lot with it. In the beginning of training camp I was getting hit with it but now I am stepping underneath it – great defense and great footwork and counter-punching. I’ve been looking really good and not getting hit a lot in training camp. I am dialed in on the left hand.
What have you done to get ready for his power?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I had some big guys come in. Some big punchers come in to keep me on my toes. I had a kid coming out of LA, an undefeated kid, a big puncher, lefty and strong. He threw 150 punches in one round and he’s a heavy puncher so my eyes were wide open. I was ducking and weaving and trying to counter punch to get this big guy off me before he took my head off. Most of the time I have 3 or 4 different sparring partners and go a few rounds with each. Each guy was fresh and we put this guy on the end when I was extremely tired. My eyes were wide open and I was able to do every well in breaking this guy down.
Do you feel Manny has lost a step?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: No. He can fight, man. He’s a great fighter. He’s coming to take me out. There is ahuge fight looming over his head – the fight everyone wants to see – Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao whatever. He has to deal with me on June 9 and that’s going to be a tough task. I think he is going to be at his very best and he’s going to try to m=take me out early.
Has the talk of head butts altered your preparation?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: It has altered preparation and we are trying to eliminate head butts. Throwing my shots out before coming in with my head and then stepping in. as opposed to leaning in then throwing shots. We’ve been working on it in the gym and have been very successful with it in sparring and keeping my balance. I definitely don’t want this fight to end on a head butt. A head cla TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Drug testing was never brought up during our negotiations. Is it something I would like? Sure, I wouldn’t mind. If you are clean, you shouldn’t have a problem taking the test. I’m not worried. Pacquiao is Pacquiao. I don’t know if Pacquiao ever used steroids or not, you know, bring it on. His last couple performances have not been that great..
Well, Pacquiao attribute his last performance on personal problems…
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I think personal problems can definitely affect a fighter in the ring. Mentally you have to be dialed in and be focused. If not, it will take a toll on you in the ring. You need to be dialed in on what you need to do. If that’s the excuse he is using then I believe it. Marquez has that style that gives you fits and they fought 3 times already and each was a very close fight. I think Marquez just knows how to fight him.
Have you been taking left hands and getting hit by left hands in the gym to get ready?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Hell no. I take less punishment as possible. I am trying to elude shots, not take shots. I have a really good chin man, and I have only been down once by a shot I didn’t see by Kendall. And on that you did see me get up and fight hard and get the victory. I’ve been on the canvas before so it is nothing new to me. I’ve been down there before so I know what it feels like and get back up and fight to the end man.
How is training with all the media coverage?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s actually great. It makes me train harder. I don’t know what it is, it’s something about those cameras that pumps me up. I definitely want to put on a show for the cameras. I just do my workout and whatever I do they just tend to follow. They don’ say anything and I don’t say too much unless something is on my mind. Just staying relaxed is the key with the cameras, you just have to act like they are not there.
Do you think it’s dangerous to focus on new technique trying to deal with the head butts?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Yes and no but we definitely have to take into consideration to limit the head butts. No one wants to see the fight end on a head butt and I don’t want to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the fans. They pay to see a show. They pay to see a fight, not a head butt clash. That’s not how you want it to happen. I have to take it into consideration to try to elude it. Just be smart, but it won’t take away from my game plan. I’m going to step inside, bang the body and apply the pressure. Against Casamayor I was aware of the head butts and kept my head out of the mix.
How much focus are you putting on your plan B?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I just train for every aspect of the game. I’ve been boxing and moving then go to the sparring partners and just duke it out. Marquez sat there and counter-punch and counter-punch but he didn’t get the decision. It didn’t seem like he wanted to win. If you want to win you’ve got to take it to the champion. You’ve got to grab your balls. If Marquez stepped up the last couple of rounds he could have won the fight. But he didn’t do that. He laid back and let Pacquiao control the tempo and the action and he didn’t and Pacquiao ended up winning those rounds. I know how to win and I know when I’m down how to pick it up. I just have to make adjustments in the ring and I know how to do that. We are working 50% on boxing and 50% on brawling – it depends on how Pacquiao comes out.
Is it hard to prepare for a guy you don’t know what to expect?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I prepare myself for me. I don’t prepare for what I think he is doing. I don’t care if he climbed Mount Everest. I don’t care if he’s walking on water. This is about me. Every morning I wake up and look at myself in the mirror. If I am at my very best on June 9, I will win the fight. I will be victorious. I put in the time, the dedication and the hard work. It’s not a battle with Pacquiao, it is a battle with me first and foremost.
Does it bother you all the talk regarding head butts?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I have heard everything and it is old. And it doesn’t get under my skin anymore. I don’t care what people think about me. I know how to fight, I am 28 years old and won three world championships and going after my fourth. I am fighting the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It doesn’t bother me at all.
How do you plan to fight?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I am going in there and doing whatever it takes to win. If it takes infighting, that’s what I’ll do, because Pacquiao doesn’t fight well inside. You look at all his fight – he doesn’t fight well inside. He throws combinations then steps out and comes in on an angle. He doesn’t ike to stay there and bang but maybe that’s what they are working on now and take it to me. So we are aware of that. We prepare for the worst. If he comes in to bang – I’ll go to boxing. I am a schooled fighter – I know when to box. I know when to move and I know when to brawl. I just have to put it all together, plain and simple.
Does the extra weight affect you?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Man, I am faster than ever, and stronger. Pounding combinations. The strength is there, the power is there. Cameron Dunkin came down to watch me spar – the spped is still there, isn’t it Cameron?
CAMERON DUNKIN: Oh, it’s there.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: It’s there and the footwork is there. Everything is there and I’m firing on all cylinders. It is going to be an exciting fight and you all need to be there.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I don’t know if it will be a knockout. I’m not a prediction kind of guy but I know a the end of the fight I will have my hand raised. I am going to be the winner, plan and simple (laughing). I am going to have my hand raised.
How do you think the fight will start?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: I’ve got to be smart. I’ve never been in the ring with this guy. I have to find out what his best punches are and have to feel him out and get the timing down. I can’t come out too fast. I came out too fast before and the guy made me pay. Go out for a few rounds read him, then start picking him apart.
What about your family?
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: The whole family will be at the fight. They have to see what daddy does. Everybody is going to be there.
Do you feel any pressure to match or surpass the PPV numbers of Mayweather-Cotto?
BOB ARUM: No, we are just going to do the best number that we can. We are going to do really good number. That’s silly to way that we are going to get more or less than Mayweather-Cotto. You’ve got to realize you’ve got to give Cotto a lot of credit for the good number that they did. Cotto is the No. 3 box office attraction. We did 600,000 when Cotto fought Margarito. So Cotto has been used to putting up big PPV numbers and combined with Mayweather put up a really big number. We have put up terrific numbers with Manny against Mosley and Marquez and that’s what we’re shooting for, a good number, for the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.
CAMERON DUNKIN: I am so excited I can’t sleep and I can’t wait to see Tim Bradley do his thing. I think everyone is going to be really surprised.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY: Great call, great questions. I want to thank everybody that made this all possible. Thanks my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait. I am sick of training and I can’t wait to get it on.
BOB ARUM: This is going to be a great fight. All the media in the Los Angeles area Tim will be doing a media workout at Fortune’s Gym on Tuesday arriving on the new Tim Bradley Bus. On Wednesday Manny Pacquiao does his media workout at the Wild Card Gym. Then we’ll see everybody in what I think will be one of the great fights in recent times at the MGM Grand on June 9.
But I don’t want any excuses at the end of the day.
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