By Marc Livitz: Undefeated WBO Junior Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of Palm Springs, CA hosted an hour long international media conference call today to discuss his return to the ring as part of the undercard of the fast-approaching Manny Pacquiao/Juan Manuel Marquez bout in Las Vegas on November 12.
Bradley will be facing Cuban veteran Joel Casamayor in a scheduled 12 round contest. He recently signed with Top Rank Promotions and President Bob Arum was quick to praise him as well as express his satisfaction with the current interest in the fight.
“We’re eagerly looking forward to November 12. The event has been completely sold out for over six weeks and we are expecting a mega audience. We’ve done close to $12 million in ticket sales alone and the closed-circuit locations around Las Vegas are reporting great figures, too. Timothy Bradley greatly enhances this card and we know millions and millions will be watching, so they will get to see how good he really is”, Arum said.
Bradley then took to the phone and was brimming with confidence and anticipation of a great night in the ring. “I’m excited and honored to fight on such a big card. I’m ready to shine and show the world who I am. I’ve been working hard for the past seven weeks. I could fight tomorrow and come November 12, I’ll put on a show”, said Bradley.
Once again, Bradley stressed his preparedness for the event and spoke of how little concern he had of being defeated when he added, “Honestly, nothing concerns me about him. I don’t care what he’s taking or if even he’s climbing Mt Everest. I’m one hundred percent prepared and there’s no way he’ll beat me.”
The champion did however stop short when asked if he was overlooking Casamayor in any way. Bradley said, “I know he’s a dangerous puncher and a lefty. Yes, I know he’s 40, but that means nothing. I’m sure that I can take this guy out.”
Bob Arum was then asked what he saw in Bradley that persuaded him to chase after his signature. Arum answered, “I didn’t know much about Tim until he fought Lamont Peterson. I was captivated by his ability. He has a pleasing personality that will sell to the public once they became aware of him. We couldn’t interfere with his existing contract, but we contacted him later. We can make him a big star in the sport.”
The Top Rank president was also asked about the possibility of a Bradley/Pacquiao showdown, to which he replied, “Manny’s decisions on fights are all his own and we’ve never discussed an opponent beyond Marquez. There will be room for four to five more fights as long as he keeps winning.”
As far as his goals or which fighters he would like to face in the future, Bradley stated, “I’m willing to fight the best and I hope to get my chance. I have a good promotional team now. I have to destroy this guy before anything else. I can mix it up as well. I know I may not look spectacular all the time, but I’m always ready and I don’t lose many rounds. We’re ready for anything.”
Bradley was then asked to comment on his most recent fight versus Devon Alexander, which many found to be less than crowd-pleasing. He answered, “I wasn’t happy with the Alexander performance at all, but I couldn’t make the guy fight. We’ve been trying to become more technical/less reckless and we are seeing the differences in this training camp.”
This reporter candidly asked Bradley if he was ready to break from his admitted tendencies to fight slowly and finally put on a great show in front of a huge Pay-per-View audience, to which he replied, “It’s always a thought in my mind. I hope to put on a big performance, but I must also fight my fight.
"I’ll look good and do what I can to put on a show, but I can’t be something I’m not. I’ll do my best to look spectacular.”
This reporter also asked Bradley if his recent success has kicked up the local boxing scene in his hometown of Palm Springs, CA. Bradley answered, “Some of the world’s best boxers were developed here in the desert. We have a strong history of making and training champions, such as Michael Moorer and Evander Holyfield. Their success inspired the Coachella Valley communities and there are great programs for kids as well. It’s always been the remedy out here for us. I fought every weekend in the amateurs out here. Sometimes twice per week.”
Tim Bradley reiterated that he felt no added pressure on him by being part of such a huge night of fights. “I was born for this. I’ve been on a few big cards, but not one like this. I fought Junior Witter in his hometown in England and it gets no scarier than that. I can do anything and I’m not worried at all”, he said. Bradley was then asked if he could see himself remaining at Junior Welterweight or if he would seek to move up to the 147 lb. weight division. He stated, “It’s based on what chances I get. 140 is getting a bit difficult for me and so I’d like to move up if the opportunity is
The reputation of Joel Casamayor as a “dirty” fighter was brought up and Bradley dismissed any hint of nerves when he said, “Well, I’m rough in there, too. He can rough me up all he wants.” In the past year, Timothy Bradley was seen as a great matchup for WBA and IBF Junior Welterweight champion Amir Khan. Potential bouts fell through and one was never made. Bradley was asked to clarify why a fight did not take place as well as respond to the accusations that he avoided the bout all together. He replied, “It doesn’t bother me one bit. One day, Khan and I will fight. I was supposed to fight him after I fought (Lamont) Peterson, but then he (Khan) signed with Golden Boy Promotions. He ducked me after that. We kept calling them, but they never called us and so it didn’t happen. Now, I have a new team that can make me a household name.”
Bradley was asked if he had any prediction for the main event on November 12, to which he answered, “I see an eighth to ninth round stoppage for Pacquiao. Manny won’t be dropped at all.”
The teleconference concluded with Bob Arum being asked to explain his idea of offering his fighters a $100 thousand “performance bonus”. Arum responded, “Sometimes, fighters are too anxious to quit the fight. We saw it with (Joshua) Clottey, (Shane) Mosley (both versus Pacquiao) & (Omar) Narvaez (versus Nonito Donaire this past Saturday). This is prize fighting and we’re looking to induce fighters when the cause doesn’t look worth it and to offer them more to get the job done.”
October 27, 2011