Boxing

Exclusive Interview With New WBC And WBO Light-Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley

Timothy Bradleyby James Slater, photo by Tom Casino / Showtime - Fresh off his exciting unanimous decision win over Kendall Holt this past Saturday - in which he added the WBO 140-pound title to his WBC crown - 25-year-old Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley is deservedly feeling great. Wanting now to face the best possible names in a star-studded division, the 24-0(11) star in the making from Palm Springs, California wants to fight the top names so as to pave his way to greatness. Very kindly taking time out to speak with me earlier today, Bradley had the following answers to my questions.

James Slater: It's a real pleasure to speak with you, champ. Firstly, congratulations on the win over Kendall Holt on Saturday. Did it feel even sweeter becoming a unified champion, more than it did winning the first world title?

Timothy Bradley: Oh yeah, it felt great. It was awesome becoming a unified champion. That was a big dream of mine and it was another goal of mine achieved..

J.S: Was it your toughest fight yet would you say?

T.B: It was a lot more tougher than I expected, because Kendall really let his hands go, and he punched harder than I thought going into the fight. His talking to me (during the pre-fight intros) threw me a little, and that took me out of my game-plan a little bit. I came out real aggressive, too aggressive, and he made me pay for that.

J.S: He caught you with that great left, and our commentator over here in the UK said later that he initially felt the fight might have been over, as it was such a great shot. Yet you got up so quickly! Were you surprised yourself that you got up in such quick time?

T.B: It was a shot I didn't see, but I've got such good conditioning, and that's why I recovered. I took a knee, because my right leg went numb. I looked at my corner and they told me to take a knee and the eight count. My head was clear, but my leg was still numb. I have so much desire and so much will and determination, I fought my way back.

I mean, most guys would have been knocked out by that punch in the first round. Kendall has quick and heavy hands. I was throwing my own hook and I turned right into his punch. But I thank God for that knockdown, because it woke me up.

J.S: It was a very good fight, and the rounds seemed to fly by. Were you nervous awaiting the verdict of the judges?

T.B: Of course. It was a world championship fight and although I thought I won all the rounds except the first and the last, I was concerned that any of the close rounds in the middle might have gone to him and with him scoring the two knockdowns I thought the judges might have given it to Kendall. I was really puzzled that I got knocked down twice in the fight, and I was worried.

But I've watched the fight since, and I've no doubts at all that I won. I try to be fair [when scoring a fight later] and the only rounds I gave to Kendall were the first and the last. I backed him up, I landed great body shots. It was all me apart from the two knockdowns.

J.S: A silly question maybe, but was that your best win yet?

T.B: It was my most challenging win, and my best win, yes. I knew it would be a tough fight because Kendall is so rangy, he's taller and he has speed and power. I learnt so much from the fight. I'm still a young fighter and I'm still learning so much all the time.

J.S: Your conditioning was once again excellent. You weren't looking at all tired in the fight.

T.B: I think my pressure won the fight for me. Kendall couldn't really deal with it. I was on him all the time and he kind of took his foot off the gas, thinking that I'd get tired. But I train very, very hard for every fight I have.

J.S: You mentioned after the fight that you want the Hatton-Pacquiao winner next. Firstly, as you were one of only a few experts who picked Pacquiao to beat De La Hoya, who wins on May 2nd?

T.B: I think it's a very interesting and entertaining fight. I would say it's pretty much a pick 'em fight. The way to beat Pacquiao - you've got to put pressure on him and out-work him. The thing that worries me about Ricky Hatton is he sometimes tends to leap in with shots. I think if he does that Pacquiao will use his speed and counter him. Even though Hatton's the bigger guy, I think Pacquiao's movement and counter-punches will frustrate Hatton and make him get wild. Hatton cannot be counted out though.

J.S: How much of a chance is there that you will get to fight the winner do you think? We hear you may have to fight WBC mandatory Devon Alexander.

T.B: I'm not sure. I just want to fight the best fighters in the world, because they push me to the limit. I'm ready to fight whoever. But I understand that it's a business and I've not made a real name for myself yet. But I'm ready to fight whoever, wherever.

J.S: It's been great speaking with you, Timothy. You have achieved so much in less than five years as pro. To have done all you've done since turning pro in August of 2004 - does it amaze even you?

T.B: I'm a believer in Christ. With Christ you can do all things. So, no, I'm not at all surprised. He leads my life and he moulds me into what I'm supposed to be. This [my success] is all God's work. I really should have been knocked out by that left hand [Vs. Holt, round one]. It was a perfect left hook. But there is a reason I got up and won. This is my walk, to tell people about Christ and to give him praise. So, no, I'm not surprised at all by what I've done.

J.S: Well, I want to thank you again for your time, Tim. We all look forward to your next fight and I hope you get the really big fights you want and deserve.

T.B: Thank you. I want to say hello to all my fans in the U.K. I love you guys, and you'll be seeing me real soon.

Article posted on 08.04.2009



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