(transcribed by Michael Readman) In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” interview with WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, he discusses his game plan for his long awaited rematch with Manny Pacquiao, and why he thinks this fight will play out differently than the first. Bradley also discusses his contract with Top Rank and whether or not he thinks it could limit some of his options in the future, and take away a chance of meeting Floyd Mayweather in the ring. Additionally Tim talks about some of the other options he had besides the Pacquaio rematch, and if this fight is more about ending the controversy than the career high purse. Here is what Timothy Bradley had to say.
Jenna J: When you approach this fight, what kind of a game plan are you gonna go for? What kind of approach are you gonna take to fight Manny Pacquiao this time?
Timothy Bradley: Well, we always have a plan A and a plan B. Manny Pacquiao normally does well with guys that stand right in front of him and come forward. You know, we can take that approach and move, but also I see a couple of different ways I can get in there and mix it up with him.
Like I said the first fight I didn’t have good legs, my feet were damaged so I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, but after the first round I was like, “Okay this is the best fighter in the world, well I’m better,” I felt better, then I got injured so I really don’t know how the fights gonna turn out but I just know that I wasn’t one hundred percent in the first fight.
This time around, me being one hundred percent, I took out the guy that knocked out Pacquiao, I know styles make fights but, it was fricking easy! It was easy beating Marquez and Pacquiao always struggled against Marquez.
Why does Pacquiao always struggle against Marquez? Because Marquez all he done was out think him, that was it, he out-thought him and just counter-punched. I can do that, I out counter-punched Marquez, I was able to out-think him.
Jenna J: You know Tim, people really question how Manny Pacquiao’s gonna be when he takes that next big shot, because he didn’t really take it in the Brandon Rios fight, he could see them all coming, they were slower. You’re a faster puncher, while your not a big knockout guy you have speed. How do you think Manny Pacquiao’s gonna react to your punches?
Timothy Bradley: I don’t know, I don’t know how he’s gonna react to my punches. The first fight we had, he just kept his hands up a lot and the majority of the time he was just deflecting my punches and things in the first fight.
He’s gonna have to be aggressive, that’s the only way, he’s gonna have to be aggressive. He’s gonna have to leave himself open at times, so I’ll be able to counter but I’m not sure how he’s gonna react to my punches at all.
Jenna J: Do you think its possible you could score a knockout in this fight compared to first fight where Pacquiao was in a different place, he’s now been knocked out by Marquez?
Timothy Bradley: I always think that anything’s possible. Absolutely, if I put my mind to it, if I train for the knockout, I definitely believe it can happen.
Jenna J: Tim, you extended your deal with Top Rank Promotions, and when fans look at that, they say, what if Timothy Bradley decisively beats Manny Pacquiao? Everyone is the world’s gonna be calling for Bradley vs. Mayweather. Do you think that signing that contract extension is gonna limit you in that sense?
Timothy Bradley: No, I don’t think it’s gonna limit me. Like I tell you, I think all things are possible, I just think that everybody is crying for a Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight and we still haven’t got it, and as fans it sucks for the fans but we still ain’t got that fight yet so what makes me think that Floyd’s gonna want to fight me? There’s no gaurantee that I’m gonna fight Floyd Mayweather.
Mayweather is in control of his own ship, he does what Mayweather wants and that’s the way I look at it. If there was a guarantee I was gonna fight Mayweather, not a possibility, I don’t like possibilities, give me a guarantee, tell me you wanna fight me. I’ve never ever heard Floyd Mayweather mention my name, that he would love to fight me or get in the ring with me.
Jenna J: Do you think he has any interest at all in fighting you?
Timothy Bradley: If Floyd talks about me basically it’s about Manny, “Manny needs to come fight me and fight Marquez before he even gets a shot at Floyd Mayweather,” that’s all I hear when he says my name. He’s never called me, he’s never mentioned me, Floyd has to be interested in me in order to fight me so that’s the reason I decided, I just said, “Hey listen, I gotta think about what’s best for me and for my family, I’ve got mouths to feed over here.”
Top Rank, although they have all this beef with Golden Boy and Top Rank or whatever. What they need to do and what the fans need to do is let them know that, “Hey we are sick of all of this, you guys need to be big boys and start putting these big fights on for the fans.” That’s the bottom line. People can’t blame me for going over to the other side or you know, people can’t blame me for that. I chose what was best for me and my family, and my career.
Jenna J: Do you think fights with Goldenboy fighters can happen?
Timothy Bradley: If anybody from the other side wants to come over and fight me, be my guest, they can always come over and fight me, they can always come over and fight me. I’m sure their contract can extend and I hope the fans come down on them just as well as they did with me(laughs) and say, “Hey, that was dumb, you should go fight Tim Bradley now.”
I have to look out for me and Top Rank gave me the contract extension and the numbers on the contact that I couldn’t turn down. I’m not gonna mention the numbers but like I said, I couldn’t turn it down because it was security for me and my family and my career.
Jenna J: Tim, was there any other fights talked about for yourself besides Manny Pacquiao? Were there any other options that were thrown at you?
Tim Bradley: There was a rematch with Marquez, Rios, Alvarado, Provodnikov rematch. A possible Cotto fight, there were a few other options out there.
Jenna J: Of all those options, when it came down to it, was it just money to fight Manny Pacquiao or was it the pride?
Timothy Bradley: Well, if it was the money, I definitely would have got what I wanted. What it boiled down to was what I need to close this chapter in my life and in my career. I gotta redeem everything that I felt I deserved in the first fight, I gotta go get it, I gotta earn the people’s respect.
People are gonna keep talking about if I don’t fight this fight they will say, “Hey you didn’t win that first fight,” and I get tired of hearing that. I can’t live and go on and always have that cloud that just looms every single day of my life. I fought this fight because I have something to prove and I’m gonna prove it.