In the third and final part of my “On The Ropes” interview with Timothy Bradley, I get his views on the current boxing scene and his own career. Bradley shares his thoughts on the upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri bout and the unification bout between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev. Tim also breaks down his next fight against Diego Chaves and how expects to deal with Chaves’ sometimes ‘dirty tactics’. Additionally, Bradley spoke about the biggest changes he has made as he’s matured as a fighter. Here is what Timothy Bradley had to say.
Jenna J: Tim I would like to get your views on Manny Pacquiao’s next fight against Chris Algieri. A lot of fans aren’t giving Algieri a chance, what do you see there?
Timothy Bradley: They’re not giving him a chance because they don’t know who Chris Algieri is. He had the great match against Provodnikov and then he had another good match against Emanuel Taylor and he looked good there. The fans don’t really know too much about Algieri and he doesn’t have that big name or that hype, so they’re not giving him a chance.
Algieri is what I call a pure boxer, almost like a Paulie Malignaggi in the sense that he uses his movement and he’s long, tall and rangy and he knows how to use his movement. A lot of fans don’t really realize that Algieri is not used to losing, the guy was a kickboxing champion, world champion kickboxer, 20-0. This guy is not used to losing.
Algieri showed in the Ruslan fight that he can make adjustments. He stood there and he got hit, got dropped, got back up and then he figured it out, “Ok I gotta move on this guy.” He did that and he ended up winning the fight against Ruslan Provodnikov. This guy can definitely make adjustments, he definitely has a height and reach advantage going for him in this fight.
We all know that movement frustrates Manny Pacquiao. If he stands there, he’s gonna get obliterated. If he moves on Manny Pacquiao and makes Pacquiao pick up his feet and chase him around, then he has a better chance of winning the fight.
Jenna J: Another big upcoming fight I want to get your thoughts on is Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev. Who are you favoring in that fight?
Timothy Bradley: I always go with the boxer, the man that’s fifty years old, still has fresh legs, that can move and think and outbox his opponent, I have to go with that guy. Even though the young Russian guy that’s a big puncher and has some decent speed, he hasn’t faced anything close to Bernard Hopkins yet in his career. He hasn’t seen a guy like Bernard Hopkins who’s very crafty, who’s been around the block, who knows the ins and outs of the ring, he’s like a wizard.
I’m thinking Bernard Hopkins, I’m thinking a close fight but Bernard Hopkins is definitely gonna outthink this guy. He’s gonna use his strengths against him, he’s gonna be sitting there trying to knock Bernard out and he’s gonna be missing all these shots and Bernard’s just gonna be popping him from the outside and catching him with counters. I’m curious to see that fight, I think it’s an interesting fight. I got Bernard Hopkins all the way. He should win this fight, no problem and continue to make history.
Jenna J: You recently turned thirty one back in August. What do you think about the thirty one year old Tim Bradley compared to the younger version of yourself?
Timothy Bradley: Well when I was young, you couldn’t tell me anything. I could outright jump off the house. When I was twenty three, you couldn’t say anything, but not at thirty one. I feel the aches and pains of all the hard work that I’ve put in over the years. It’s been like twenty one years of fighting.
Things are a lot different now, I still have my ability to move and box and I still can think in the ring so I’m okay there, but I have to apply more recovery to my approach now rather than just work. When I was younger I just worked, it didn’t matter, just keep working.
I worked hard every single day but now I’m getting older and it’s like I’m sore for like three to four days off of one exercise routine. I gotta find a way to recover faster. I’m eating well, I’m getting rest, but man I gotta take some more time off. I gotta get a lot more therapy, as far massage therapy.
I’m doing acupuncture because of my calf injury. I’m just doing various exercises and techniques to strengthen certain parts of my core and my hips. It’s just a lot of different things now that I’m incorporating that I’ve never done before because of age.
Jenna J: The fight you have coming up against Diego Chaves, how do you expect it to play out, from the opening bell to the finish?
Timothy Bradley: I think Chaves is gonna be aggressive. I’m sure he’s gonna be aggressive, I’m sure he’s gonna bring the pressure and try to walk me down and do how he always does to a lot of these guys out there. I think he’s gonna try to make it rough and gritty for me.
I know there’s a couple of fights that he’s probably focusing on — he’s focusing on the Ruslan Provodnikov fight because I was vulnerable there, and probably the last Pacquiao fight, he’s probably studying that. I think that’s what he’s gonna try to do but I’m not sure to be honest with you, you never know.
I’m gonna be ready for anything he does. If he wants to come bring the pressure, he can bring it on, I got movement for him. If he wants to lay back, hey, I can come forward too. It all boils down to what he’s gonna do because I can do pretty much anything, I can do it all. I can box moving forward, I can pressure, I can maul you, I can fight dirty as well and I definitely can box. Whatever he wants to do, I can alter my gameplan.
Jenna J: The New Year is just around the corner, what are your goals for 2015? What do hope to accomplish next year?
Timothy Bradley: Shoot, I haven’t really put that into mind. My main focus right now is the fans, that’s my main focus right now. I’ve done a lot and I’ve accomplished a lot in boxing, I would have to say also getting my belt back. I got the belt sitting at the house but I just love that title of the world champion. I’ll always be a world champion because I became a world champion but I feel like I’m kind of missing my shirt or something.
I need that title back. I’m gonna get it back sooner or later. These guys don’t want to fight me, they’ll vacate it or leave the game and I’ll have the opportunity to fight for it again or I’ll fight a champion for it, it doesn’t really matter. Like I said, the fans, I just want to put on good fights for the fans. The fans want to see good, competitive fights and that’s the reason why I’m fighting Diego Chaves because he’s a tough guy who comes in and he brings it. I want the fans to come out and support.
A lot of people didn’t expect me to fight Manny Pacquiao the way I fought him but I did. I fought him hard and I stayed true to what I said I was gonna do, I took it to him. At the end he ended up winning the fight — that’s all good — but the fans definitely appreciated how I came out and how I was aggressive and how I brought it to Manny Pacquiao, same thing going in this fight.
I’m fighting for the fans, I want to put the fans on the map. I want to give them the best fights that Bradley can give, the best fights out there. I’m willing to face anybody, anybody. I’m not gonna say names but I’m willing to fight anybody out there that’s making noise and that wants a piece of Tim Bradley.