Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao first met in the ring on June of 2012. It was a fight that people expected would test Manny Pacquiao, as many people within the boxing media were favoring Timothy Bradley to pull the upset and end Pacquaio’s streak of success. The fight was competitive, but at the end of the match, most felt that Pacquiao earned a victory and that it was just a matter of his name being read. When the scores cards were read, to the surprise of many, Timothy Bradley was named the winner and the result set off a fire storm of controversy and the life and career of Timothy Bradley was forever changed.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” interview with Timothy Bradley, he talks about his most recent performance in the ring, a decision win against Juan Manuel Marquez. Besides discussing that fight, Bradley talked Ruslan Provodnikov’s impressive win against Mike Alvarado, and the possibility of himself having a rematch with Ruslan. Additionally Tim gave his thoughts on the fight he wants to have most, a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. Here is what Timothy Bradley had to say.
Jenna J: Tim, you’ve had a some time now to reflect on your last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, how do you feel about the fight now?
Timothy Bradley: It feels fantastic to finally get a really notable win over a top quality opponent in Marquez–especially after knocking out Pacquiao. This has definitely been a goal of mine, I wanted to fight Marquez before he left the game and he chose to fight me and I beat him. It looks great, another win, another great fighter on my resume and I’m just gonna continue to fight the best out there.
Jenna: Alright Tim, people had a lot of questions about you going into the fight, they wondered how you would respond coming back from the Ruslan Provodnikov fight being that it was so tough and so grinding. With this fight here, did you have any doubts in yourself that you’d be okay going into it?
Bradley: No, I didn’t have any doubts in my mind because I remember sparring (Lucas) Matthysse the first day I came back to actually start sparring. I was training for a month and that fifth week I sparred Matthysse and he hit me with some good shots, solid shots, and I was okay. I didn’t feel stunned or dazed or anything like that, so I was like “Oh I’m gonna be fine, I’ll be just fine.” I got hit by one of the hardest punchers in the game during sparring and I didn’t get rattled whatsoever, I knew I was ready.
Jenna: Now do you think people made too much of Marquez’ power coming off of that Pacquiao KO win? You were in there with him, you fought 12 rounds with him, what did you think of the power that you faced?
Bradley: You know what, he hit me with a big left hook in the first round and caught me with two really good uppercuts, I mean I felt the power but the lights definitely didn’t get turned off. I took the shots very well, I didn’t get dazed or anything like that, but I definitely felt the shots on my chin.
He has some power, he has power in both hands, his left hook was really solid, left hook to the body is really solid, uppercut was solid. The straight right hand he didn’t really land that often on me, I took his best weapon away from him, we worked on that in practice and we avoided it.
Jenna: For yourself, what was the biggest change between the Ruslan Provodnikov fight and the Juan Manuel Marquez fight?
Bradley: Well the big change was just mentally I was more relaxed in this fight and I proved and showed the world what I was made of in the Ruslan fight, I chose to fight that way even though I didn’t even train like that, I trained to box, kind of like what I did in this fight against Marquez.
If I would have fought Ruslan smart and just box and pick him and move, he wouldn’t have even touched me, he wouldn’t even have been a close fight, at all. When I did that for the majority of the rounds after the third, it was quite easy.
The difference was just me going back to the drawing board, basically I got that fight past me–the Ruslan fight I showed everyone what I was made of, got a lot of credit for that fight and now it was just–I’m gonna step up and fight a legend in the sport, I have to be smart, I have to box smart, I have to listen to my corner–and that’s what was the main focus on the gym, to follow directions, listen to my corner and box. That’s what I did and I said “If I box my game, he wouldn’t be able to beat me” and it was true.
Jenna: You mentioned Ruslan Provodnikov just a second ago, he recently fought against Mike Alvarado. I’m curious, did you have another chance to see that fight?
Bradley: Yeah, I watched bits and pieces of it, but I knew Ruslan would win the fight. I knew he had a really good chance of winning the fight. I actually bet on him to win the fight and he did. I knew Mike had the ability to actually box, but I didn’t think he would due to the fact that he was in his hometown and after he struggled making weight too, I thought “Oh he’s doomed.”
It’s kind of the same thing I went through, I had problems making weight when I fought Ruslan and I was very dehydrated going into the fight and it showed. I mean, I can take a punch and this guy punches like a mule, he’s the hardest puncher I’ve ever been in the ring with. I’ve been in there with Kendall Holt, Abregu, Pacquiao, Marquez, but nobody punches like Ruslan. Ruslan punches hard, and anybody that might face that guy, they better be careful.
Jenna: Yeah, after you faced him you said that he would be a champion one day. What I have to ask you is, do you have any need to revisit that fight with Ruslan Provodnikov, to beat him more clearly than you did and to not have the problems that you did in the first fight?
Bradley: (laughs) For what? The thing is this, if I go back and revisit that fight, for what? I won a unanimous decision against Provodnikov. Even though he gave me problems early, I chose to fight that way just to prove a point to everybody that I’m a real true champion. I have a heart like a lion.
I decided to trade with this guy to put on a show for the fans and show everyone what I’m made of. I won the fight, and the rounds that I did win, I just boxed. Everybody wants me to go back and fight this guy, for what? He’s gonna get a boxing lesson the next time we fight, then everybody’s gonna criticize me for moving around the ring–saying I ran all night.
There’s no point in revisiting that fight because it will not be the same fight. He will not touch me at all. Ruslan is a champion at 140 lbs, I told everybody he would be a champion because he’s very strong, he’s a big puncher and it’s true, another world champion on my résumé.
People gave me a hard time about fighting him, this guy is a real fighter, he was a dangerous fighter when I got in there and signed the contract, I said “This fight is dangerous because this guy can really fight.” He’s a world champion now, my résumé’s just getting better and better each day because all these guys that I’ve faced and beaten are champions, or former world champions.
Jenna: Tim you are in a unique position in your career now that you have these wins over Pacquiao and now Marquez, and you can really pick your own path. Who do you want to be in the ring with next?
Bradley: Pacquiao, I want the Pacquiao fight. I want the Pacquiao fight for a couple of reasons, one reason is because I can’t move on with my career, I can’t move forward, it’s always a dark side of my career every time someone even mentions Pacquiao, it bothers me. It bothers me because, I don’t know if they are being honest or not.
I have had people come up to me and say ” I thought you won that fight.” That’s great and everything, but the majority of the world that watched that fight said I lost. I don’t think I lost, but a lot of people said that I lost, so I have to go do back and revisit that. I got the guy that knocked him out, Marquez, now I got to go back and seal the deal with Pacquiao.
Hopefully he will get into the ring with me, hopefully we can fight again, and after I beat Pacquiao, then there is nothing else said about it, there is nothing else said about Pacquiao, “Oh he beat you once.” No, I’m going to beat him fair and square and then I can move forward, then I can go forward, but I have to go back revisit that fight, I have to fight this guy.
Jenna: So that fight for you, in your own way, would be for redemption?
Bradley: Absolutely, absolutely, it’s redemption. Fighting Pacquiao actually hurt my career, I couldn’t believe it. Fighting Pacquiao again, the fight will definitely be personal, it wouldn’t be business, it will be personal. It’s going to be cracking if we get back in the ring, and I can’t wait. I just hope this guy wins, beats Brandon Rios, and I hope he calls my name and says he wants to rematch me or something.