Home Boxing News Tim Smith: “Bradley is Ready to Take Over Boxing’s Throne”

Tim Smith: “Bradley is Ready to Take Over Boxing’s Throne”

Tim Smith, New York Daily News

LAS VEGAS — Timothy Bradley began training camp preparation for his upcoming match against Manny Pacquiao so long ago that it takes him some time to recall just when he started.

“Let me see . . . We started doing some things back in February. Or maybe it was January,” Bradley said. “I was doing stuff every other day in March. Then we went to five days a week. But I guess you could say we really started the official camp three weeks ago, because I’m coming into my third week of sparring.”

If Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) seems a little anxious to get on with his preparation for his 12-round WBO welterweight championship bout against Pacquiao (54-3-2, 28 KOs) on June 9, that’s because he is. It is the biggest match of Bradley’s career and figures to be one of the toughest bouts for Pacquiao against an opponent other than Juan Manuel Marquez or Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Bradley, 28, is among the top representatives of the young, up and coming class that is challenging Pacquiao and Mayweather for supremacy in the welterweight division and superstardom in boxing.

Victor Ortiz was the first of the group, which includes Amir Khan, Andre Berto, Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander and Bradley, to step forward. But Ortiz was KO’d by Mayweather in September when he made a boneheaded decision to drop his guard in the middle of the fight.

“This is an opportunity to take over the throne,” Bradley said of his fight with Pacquiao. “Me, Ortiz, Peterson and Berto we all came out of the same amateur class. We’re all stepping up at the same time. It’s time for this new era of boxing. We’re going to take over the game.”

Bradley is undefeated, just like Ortiz was before he challenged Mayweather. But Bradley, who already has victories over Alexander and Peterson, believes that he has something that Ortiz didn’t have when he faced Mayweather.

“I don’t get a lot of credit for it, but I’m smart in the ring,” Bradley said. “I have high ring intelligence. I don’t get credit for being able to read fighters in the ring and make adjustments.”

Bradley planned to closely watch the match between Mayweather and Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night. If he manages to get past Pacquiao, Bradley would love to challenge Mayweather next.

But he is not going to get sidetracked by the task that is looming in front of him. He said his camp has had problems finding a single sparring partner who can duplicate what Pacquiao presents in the ring. Consequently, they have brought in six sparring partners who each do one aspect of what Pacquiao presents.

“We have a strong guy, a guy who moves, a guy who throws punches from angles, a very fast guy, a guy who throws a lot of punches, a light-hitting guy,” Bradley said. “We have all kinds of guys who simulate what Pacquiao can do in the ring, but you’re never going to find someone who can do what he does in the ring.”

There has been much written about Pacquiao’s personal problems, including a tax issue in the Philippines, that are causing him trouble. Bradley said if Pacquiao brings those problems into the ring, it will be an advantage for him.

“Regardless of what he says, those problems are going to affect you,” Bradley said. “You might say you’re not distracted, but in the back of your mind they’re always there. You will say you’re focused on the fight, but you’re not really. You know from the very first day of camp if you’re carrying those problems with you, your camp will not be up to par.

“It affects you mentally. It bothers you. Your focus is off. He’s training for the fight, but he’s somewhere else mentally. Any little advantage I want to capitalize on it. I’m hoping his head isn’t in the game. I will be able to determine where his head is at the beginning of the fight.”


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