In the third and final part of my “On The Ropes” interview with former 2 division world champion, Timothy Bradley, I talk with him about his future and possibility of moving up in weight. Bradley also gives his thoughts on Top Rank and Goldenboy promotions working with each other and which fighters from the Goldenboy stable he would be interested in fighting. Additionally Timothy shares his views on this weekend’s big fight between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto. Here is what Timothy Bradley had to say.
Jenna J: Would you be interested in a rematch with Ruslan Provodnikov at 140lbs, or are you just going to stay at 147?
Timothy Bradley: 147 is my weight, I’m 30 years old, I’ll be 31 this year and I kind of feel like I’ve outgrown 140. 147 is a great weight for me, and I’m comfortable at 147. Going down to 140 is not really something that I’m really interested in doing.
Possibly moving up to 154lbs, that sounds interesting. That sounds challenging for me and I think I can do well at 154. I fought at 152 when I was an amateur — I know amateurs is different than pros, but I do have pro experience and I do have a lot of knowledge and ability in the ring. I think I’ll go up before I’ll go down.
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Jenna: What do you think of the top fighters in the junior-middleweight division right now, and which of them would interest you?
Bradley: Well of course Canelo is the top dog right now at that weight class. You also have Lara and Miguel Cotto — Miguel Cotto is going up to 160 to try to make history, but he’s typically a 154lb or 147lb fighter. Any of these fights are definitely challenging and interesting.
Jenna: Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum have been talking lately and they are saying they want to make fights together. Out of the whole stable of 147-154lbs, which fighters would you like to see yourself in with?
Bradley: All of them, all of them! I can beat them all, I can beat all of them. There’s no particular order, no names. Anybody between there that’s doing good, I’ll fight any of them, any of them.
The difference between me and a lot of other fighters is that, my record is built on beating champions and fighting real fighters — not fighting guys that are contenders that are trying to come up. I’m fighting champions, I’m fighting the best fighters and the best opposition out there in the world.
If you look at my resume, I’ve fought over 13 champions or former world champions. I’ve fought tough competition out there and built my record that way after I because champion. I’m not shying away from any fighter or any top guy out there, I wanna fight the best, continue to fight the best and give the fans what they wanna see.
Jenna: A guy who recently brought your name up was Keith Thurman. How do you think a fight between you and Keith Thurman would go?
Bradley: Keith Thurman is a very seasoned professional. He has some decent competition, nothing compared to what I’ve faced, but he still is a top guy out there that’s making a lot of noise in the 147lb division. He’s a tremendous fighter, he’s a smart fighter, he has a lot of power in both hands.
He’s a dangerous fighter and these are the types of fights that I get up for and I’m always looking for as a challenge. Me being one of the top 147lb fighters in the world, hey, I embrace anything with open arms, if it makes sense.
Jenna: Now I want you to put your analyst cap back on. We have Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez at middleweight on June 7. Who are you picking in that fight?
Bradley: Everybody keeps asking who am I picking. I like both guys, I know Cotto very well. It just depends on how they are gonna come at each other. Honestly we all know that Martinez is a quick handed fighter, great power, we also know that he moves a lot. We also know that at times Cotto has problems with guys that move — look at him when he fought Trout, look at him when he fought Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather.
Guys that can move on Cotto give him problems, quicker fisted fighters. Cotto is with a new trainer, he’s with Freddie Roach. I know Freddie Roach is gonna come up with a great gameplan to give Martinez problems. I just have to wait and see, I’m anticipating the fight just as much as everybody else.
You can never count Cotto out of a fight, based on his experience, based on him fighting at the top level, fighting some of the best guys in the world and always putting out and doing his very best — he gave Floyd Mayweather fits, Floyd Mayweather is the best boxer in the world. There’s nothing you can say that Cotto can’t do, he can do it, he can definitely beat Martinez just as well as Martinez can beat Cotto.
Jenna: Any message you want to pass along to your fans about what they can expect from Timothy Bradley in the rest of 2014?
Bradley: Well when I come back, honestly, I don’t really want any tune up fights. I want to come back and continue on to fight the best fighters in the world. I’m just gonna give it my all, as always. I want to become world champion again. I feel kind of naked without the belt, honestly. People call me champ still today but it’s just like, “Ugh, I’m not the champ anymore,” it kind of sucks, it kind of bothers me a bit.
I will be working hard, it might take me a year, it may take me 2 years, it may take me 5 years — of course I don’t want it to be that long, but I will be world champion again. I know I’m one of the top fighters in the world at 147lbs, so it could be quickly, I could get my title back quickly.
Jenna: It was a great pleasure speaking with you, I’d like to see you back in there strong and healthy.
Bradley: Quick question for you, do you like that fight with Thurman?
Jenna: Honestly, I think it would be a fantastic fight. I think it would be a great fight between you both, I hope that’s not just talk between Oscar and Arum, we’ll see.
Bradley: Right, we shall see. I believe that they are having their first fight in a long time with Gary Russell and Vasyl Lomachenko, when I heard that I was like, “Wow that’s great, that’s fantastic.” Hopefully they can continue to put some fights on and work together to get boxing a good name again and get the fans enthusiastic about boxing again. I just hope that we can make these matches.