8th June, 2012
Timothy Bradley is not about to let the chance of a lifetime pass him when he fights Manny Pacquiao tomorrow night.
“It’s all or nothing,” Bradley said on Wednesday. “No rounds off. Round by round, I have to win each one.”
Bradley, 28, is unbeaten in 28 fights. But he has never fought anyone of Pacquiao’s stature and his record includes only 12 knockouts.
He’ll be fighting for only the second time at 67 kg, moving up to challenge for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title.
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, does not believe Bradley has the speed or power to beat the Filipino.
Roach questions the wisdom of Bradley’s vegan diet, a rarity in boxing. He says the Californian’s muscular physique could be a hindrance rather than an asset.
Bradley acknowledges the highly publicised bout is a step up for him. But he says the years of fighting in club venues have given him the versatility to adapt to whatever Pacquiao presents.
“I came from the lumberjack yards; fighting in little ballrooms. Now we’re in Las Vegas and we’re going to be fighting in front of thousands of people,” said Bradley, who once worked as a waiter to support himself as he tried to establish his ring career.
In 2008, Bradley travelled to Nottingham, England, where he defeated Junior Witter to win the WBC light-welterweight title.
He took home about $40 000 for that bout; a useful payday for a man who had just a few dollars in the bank at the time.
Less than a year later he survived two knockdowns en route to a victory over Kendall Holt.
In his last bout, in November last year, he beat former champion Joel Casamayor by technical knockout in the eighth round.
That was on the undercard of Pacquiao’s controversial majority decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez.
The bout with Casamayor came ten months after a victory over Devon Alexander, after which Bradley had a date with Amir Khan.
That matchup fell through, but Bradley believes he has at last landed where he ought to be.
“It’s been a long journey, but I knew at some point I would get here,” he said.
Tomorrow he stands to make a minimum of $5 million (more than R41 million).
But a victory over Pacquiao would be a priceless boost to his career. Bradley says he will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
“I don’t look pretty, I don’t look spectacular. I don’t have that spark. I don’t do that one thing where everyone says ‘wow!’,” Bradley admitted on Wednesday.
“I know I’m going to have to do it in this fight. You could see some greatness on tomorrow.”