During the 208th edition of “On The Ropes” I had a chance to speak with WBO welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley, to discuss his highly anticipated rematch with Manny Pacquiao. Bradley talks about the road to getting this rematch and what he expects to happen this time around. Tim also talks about the contract for the fight, and signing an extension with Top Rank as part of it. Additionally Bradley talks about whether or not he has to get a knock out to get a win, and if he thinks he can end the career of Pacquiao with a victory. Here is what Timothy Bradley had to say in part 1 of his interview.
Jenna J: Tim, you now have officially signed a deal to fight Manny Pacquiao in a rematch, how do you feel about having the opportunity to fight him again?
Timothy Bradley: It feels great, I get an opportunity to regain whatever happened in the first fight, you know all the controversy and everything that went on during the first fight. I’m getting another opportunity, another crack at Pacquiao to get the credit that I deserve and beating another legend in the sport.
I’m excited about it, it’s been 2 years since the last fight we had and I feel like I’m definitely in the better position, I got more experience now than I did then. I feel like I’m definitely a complete fighter now.
Jenna: Were negotiations hard for this rematch? You’re getting paid six million dollars, a million more than the last fight. Was it hard to come to a deal?
Bradley: Yeah the negotiation was definitely hard, I had to really look at every different aspect of the game and what I can do, what’s best for me, what’s best for my family. I really had to just separate myself from boxing and just say, what’s best for my family?
I put a lot of thought into it, I was playing hardball, but we came up with a deal that Pacquiao had offered me and I said, “Well, it’s either take this deal and get another shot at him, or don’t take this deal and don’t get another shot at him ever again.”
I don’t think I would be able to rest my mind without getting in the ring with Pacquiao again. I don’t think I would be able to rest my mind at all, I could be on my deathbed and this is one thing I that want to be able to definitely get over and move past. Whether I win or lose, I just need to get this fight out of the way.
Jenna: Tim, when I last spoke with you it was 2 weeks after you beat Marquez, and you were talking about trying to get the Pacquiao fight. Going into this rematch, how important is it for you to not just win, but win so decisively that there is no question?
Bradley: That right there is the key, I have to win decisively, almost like the Marquez fight. There was no doubt in my mind that no matter how close the judges had it, I just felt that I won the fight by a landslide. I gotta do the same in this fight.
It’s not gonna be easy, there’s really nothing that’s easy, especially when you’re at the top of boxing, boxing is a hard game, but anything I put my mind to, anything that I want, I get. I’m willing to die for it. With that being said, it’s gonna be another night at the office and it’s gonna be another night where the whole world is gonna doubt me. At the end of the night, I’m gonna be victorious once again, and I’m gonna say, “I told you so.”
Jenna: When I spoke to you last about having the rematch, you thought the fight was gonna take place in Asia. You said you couldn’t go to Asia and expect a decision. The fight will be taking place in Vegas, do you feel better about the fight now that it’s in the United States, and do you feel you have to knock Pacquiao out to really get the victory?
Bradley: No I don’t have to knock him out, I’m the champion, Pacquiao’s gotta come get some. The pressure is not on me, the pressure’s on him, it’s all on him, it’s not on me. He’s the one that’s got to shine, he’s a superstar, he’s the icon, the legend, he’s everything, all eyes on Pacquiao.
Pacquiao’s gotta come get it, if he wants it. It’s not gonna be easy and I don’t lay down for anybody, everybody knows that, that’s why I’m undefeated. This time I’m gonna have two good feet, I’m not gonna get my feet hurt in the second round and in the fourth round and be walking around the ring injured, I won’t be. I’m gonna have two good feet and it’s gonna be a different fight. The world is gonna see, the world’s gonna see.
Jenna: Tim, you say it’s gonna be a different fight and a lot of people agree in a way because Pacquiao in his last fight, he actually looked a little tentative with Brandon Rios, he wasn’t willing to stand in there and take any extra chances. In the first fight with you, he took some chances, do you thing he’s gonna fight a little differently in the rematch?
Bradley: Rios is a big puncher, Rios has heavy hands. I’m a lighter fisted fighter than Rios. I’m not saying that I can’t punch at all because I must be doing something right to these guys, they don’t like to come in on me too much, I must be stinging them with something.
Rios is a big puncher, I’m a lighter puncher, I think he’s gonna take more chances because he has to. Pacquiao’s back is against the wall right now, if Pacquiao loses another fight, his career is over. If he loses to me, his career is over, like I told you, the pressure is on him, he has to shine, I beat him once, he has to come get it. Me, I just have to protect what’s mine and I’m gonna do that.
It’s gonna be a different fight, I think Pacquiao is gonna try to be more aggressive in this fight and he’s gonna try to take me out in the fashion where everybody is gonna say, “He still has it, he’s still the Manny Pacquiao that we love, him and Mayweather should fight.”
Everybody is gonna be screaming about a Mayweather fight, but all these guys have dreams, they have goals in mind, but when they get in the ring with me, all the dreams and all the goals that you had are out the window, cause you gotta deal with me and I don’t lay down for anybody. I said over and over, I’m gonna beat him, it’s gonna be tough but I’m gonna beat him.
Jenna: Tim, if you win the second fight decisively with no questions at all, do you think Manny Pacquiao should retire or do you think it depends on how the fight goes?
Bradley: That’s all up to Manny Pacquiao. Manny Pacquiao is a tremendous fighter, a lot of people say he had a lackluster fight against Rios, but Rios is a tough dude, Rios is no slouch. Everybody was saying, “Ah he’s a punching bag.” and I’m like, “Dude, Rios is tough.”
Not just anybody could get in there and fight with Rios. Rios is gonna be in your face all night and Pacquiao admitted the fight was tough, even though Pacquiao looked like he had an easy time in there. Pacquiao’s a tough fighter and he’s gonna come ready and he’s gonna try to take me out, I just know it, I have a gut feeling. His back is against the wall.