Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Bradley: 'I will be hungrier than Pacquiao'
By Timothy Bradley Jr.
Special to ESPN.com
In the two years since his controversial June 2012 victory over Manny Pacquiao, unbeaten welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. has done nothing but grow as a fighter.
Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs), 30, survived a toe-to-toe war with Ruslan Provodnikov in March 2013 before outboxing slick counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marques in October.
But the native of Palm Springs, Calif., returns April 12 in Las Vegas (HBO PPV) for a second go-around with Pacquiao. Bradley's split-decision victory in their first bout went down as one of the most controversial decisions in modern history.
Juan Manuel Marquez had to knock out Pacquiao to get a definitive result. Is that what you need to do? How do you accomplish this? How do you beat Pacquiao?
Marquez was in a little bit of a bigger hole when he knocked him out. He had fought him three times and was not able to secure a win in any of the first three fights. He had tried everything and had failed, so a knockout was the only way he would win.
I am in a slightly different position than Marquez was. I have already beat Pacquiao once, and that was on my first try. I don't think I have to knock him out to get a definite result, but, if the knockout presents itself, I will take advantage of it.
The first fight, I injured my foot in the second round and by the fourth round my ankle on my other foot was also messed up. The second half of the fight, I was coming on strong with two bad feet.
I didn't have the movement that I normally have, and I was outworking him. I was fighting all three minutes of every round and not just the last thirty seconds of every round.
This second fight against Manny Pacquiao, I will pick up right where I left off the first fight. This will just be rounds 13 through 24.
I was able to show my boxing ability against Marquez with two good feet, so this will be no different. I will be faster than Pacquiao, I will have better defense than Pacquiao, I will be hungrier than Pacquiao.
I have been in the ring with Pacquiao, so I know exactly what to expect. There are a few adjustments that I will make and with two good feet under me, and, at the end of the night, I will be victorious again!
Bradley: 'This is my chance at redemption' (Posted on March 26)
Talk about the frustration of winning the biggest fight of your life (first fight against Pacquiao) and not getting the recognition that goes with that.
Well, as many know, the first Pacquiao fight I was just supposed to be another opponent for the great Manny Pacquiao. Not many people gave me a chance to come out victorious, especially not after the type of winning streak that he had been on. His previous seven fights, Pacquiao had beaten and/or destroyed Juan Manuel Marquez, Sugar Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Oscar de la Hoya.
No one thought I had what it took to beat Manny Pacquiao. So, when I did edge out the decision, I never got the credit I deserved. I busted my butt in training camp, as I always do for any fight, but this was the biggest fight in my career, so I pushed that much harder to prove to the world that I could beat Manny Pacquiao.
When the decision was announced that I had done enough to beat Manny, no one could believe what had happened -- and hardly anyone knew the physical conditions that I had gone through during the fight.
Beating Pacquiao was supposed to be the turning point in who Timothy Bradley really is, but instead it became a very dark point and time in my life. The boos turned into hatred and then hatred turned into death threats. I felt I had done enough to beat Pacquiao, but everyone was out to prove that I hadn't.
This was supposed to be my night, but instead it turned into a night where an icon not only lost but was also "robbed" by me. Everyone sat there in shock without realizing that I had just done what I set myself to do. No one stopped for a second and acknowledged my accomplishment.
Although I am certain I won the fight, it is now time to once again show the world who Timothy Bradley really is. On April 12, we will settle for once and for all the uncertainty of boxing followers and those of the fans.
This is my chance at redemption, and I promise I will make the most of it.
Bradley: 'Nothing can stop me' (Posted on March 20)
Discuss 2013 and how your fights against Provodnikov and Marquez solidified you as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
The year 2013 was a great one for me. I started out the year fighting a guy who wasn't very well known outside the boxing community by the name of Ruslan Provodnikov. You might have heard of him by now since our fight was voted fight of the year by the Boxing Writers of America. Ruslan has also gone on to win a junior welterweight title and has moved into many people's top 10 pound-for-pound lists.
My second fight of 2013 was against a current top five pound-for-pound guy that had just come off of the knockout of the year against Manny Pacquiao, the future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez. This fight, unlike the Provodnikov fight, was a chess match and I believe I gave Juan Manuel Marquez a boxing lesson.
With these two fights I was able to show that I can outbox a top-five pound-for-pound boxer and I could also go toe to toe with one of the most feared punchers in the sport. I was able to show the fans that I am a versatile fighter and can box and brawl as needed. I believe that being a top pound-for-pound fighter means that you have to do whatever it takes to win whether it's outbox your opponent or fight your opponent blow for blow in the center of the ring. I am out to prove that I am one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, if not the best.
In my two fights in 2013 I was able to show that I can do it all in the sport of boxing. This next fight will be no different in helping me show the fans that I am top pound for pound in the world. I have a lot to prove and nothing can stop me on my way to being No. 1 in the world.