Timothy Bradley - "We're Supposed To Be Warriors In This Game!"

boxingExclusive Interview by James Slater - Fresh off his 3rd-round TKO win over Nate Campbell this past Saturday, WBO light-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley is looking ahead to his next fight. The 25-year-old who improved to 25-0(12) says he was just getting going when the fight was stopped due to a cut suffered by Campbell - a cut Campbell claims came from a butt (and is appealing the result).

The fighter known as "Desert Storm" says he'd fight Campbell again, but that he'd easily defeat him a second time. Very kindly taking time out to speak with me about the Campbell fight and other things, Tim gave me the following answers over the phone today.

James Slater: It's a pleasure to speak with you, Champ, as always. First of all, were you happy with your performance against Nate Campbell? You sure were on top in a big way

Timothy Bradley: Absolutely. It was a great performance. I prepared well, but I wasn't really focusing on Nate, I was concentrating more on what I was doing.. Watching tapes, I was trying to correct my mistakes. I wanted to make sure I sharpened my game, and I kept both my hands up, I straightened my jab. I used my head a lot more in this fight, I wasn't just charging in. I learnt a whole lot from the Kendall Holt fight. I watched the video of that fight and I saw what I did wrong and I fixed my mistakes.

J.S: Were you surprised at how easily you handled Campbell?

T.B: No. Not at all. I knew he'd be slow. I knew he'd be flatfooted. He's used to fighting in a different weight class, too. He wouldn't have had to have worked as hard to get down to 140. He'll have trained hard, of course, but not as hard as he would have done to have made 135 in the past. I knew he'd be flat on his feet, and I knew their whole game-plan would be to break me down to the body. But we trained to box on the outside and to fight on the inside. I was not just going to run all night. No way.

J.S: Did Nate ever hurt you at all?

T.B: No. They say he has power, but please! (laughs). Kendall Holt, he has wrecking power. Even when he hit my gloves I felt a little electricity. Nate, he has heavy hands, but I saw all his punches coming. He has heavy hands, but he has no snap on his shots.

J.S: Were you surprised when Nate quit? Did he in fact quit in your opinion?

T.B: Just look at Miguel Cotto's fight and then ask me if Nate quit? Cotto had two cut eyes [against Joshua Clottey] but he kept on fighting. Look at Juan Diaz [when he fought Campbell] he continued to fight with bad cuts as well - even though it may have jeopardised his career. He carried on. Nate didn't do that. So it looked and sounded like he quit to me. The cut wasn't even on the eyelid, it was above the eye. But he didn't want to fight. He came back to the corner screaming, "Stop the fight. Stop the fight! I can't see. I can't see." We're supposed to be warriors in this game. I know I'd have carried on if I was cut. Even if, even if, I couldn't see - I'd still fight on. I mean, the damage has been done. You could be having your last fight [in that situation]. If you have suffered a detached retina you might have to hang up the gloves. So why not fight? I would in that situation because I'd know that this could be my last chance to fight. But that's just me. I'm gonna fight to the end and give it everything I've got. I was just getting started in that 3rd-round.

J.S: What do you think of Nate's plan to appeal the result and try to get it overturned? And would you fight him again?

T.B: It would be the same outcome if we fought again. In fact, it would probably be worse for him. He's too slow. Even if he changed his game-plan, I'm always in great shape. I'd maybe go right to him if we fought again. I don't really see any point in fighting him again, but we'll see. If it makes sense, money-wise. That's what it's all about. But I don't know. If he wants to be a jerk about it and continue saying things - being disrespectful. He doesn't really want to fight.

J.S: Are you worried that the win may be overturned to a No-decision, though?

T.B: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I'm not worried. It won't be changed. I won the fight. Look at the video. He came into MY head! The referee saw what happened in just a split second. It was a punch. We did clash heads - we were butting all night. But Nate never gave the ref the time to see the cut. Instead he went back to his corner screaming blue murder - screaming that he couldn't see and screaming "Stop the fight. Stop the fight."

J.S: Moving on, as you are - will it be Lamont Peterson next for you?

T.B: It's going down. That fight's going down. I haven't spoken to my promoter yet, but Lamont is my mandatory and so I have to fight him next to keep my belt. So I can't see why it won't be him next.

J.S: You are always in terrific shape as you say, and you could probably fight again this week! But when do you think you will fight again?

T.B: Let's see, we're in August now. I'd say October. October or November. That would be perfect for me. I didn't expend much energy in this fight, I'm not sore. So I'd be able to fight in a month or two. I'm sure Lamont's getting ready now. I'm sure he's already in camp getting ready for me now. That's a good fight. That's one of the best in the division. Me and Lamont, me and Devon Alexander - we are the cream of the division. I came up in the amateurs with those guys and I'm sure we'll all clash one day.

J.S: You're a fighter who always wants to fight the best and who wants the biggest opponents. Do you think you are any closer to a fight with Manny Pacquiao?

T.B: It will never happen. It will never happen. By the time I reach where he is, stature-wise, he'll probably be retired. And I don't blame him for not fighting me. He's in a position where he can choose who he wants to fight and earn millions in big mega-fights. I'd do the same thing in his position. I've had just five years in the [pro] game, and my stature isn't up there with his yet - and by the time it is, he'll be retired probably. Boxing's a business after all. I'm starting to understand the business side of boxing. It's not always about the best fighting the best. And if Pacquiao were to fight me, he'd want me to bring the draw, he'd need me to bring him millions of dollars in a pay day. But by the time I'm at that level, it will be too late [for a fight with Manny].

J.S: It's a shame, because I think you and he would be a great fight - your speed versus his speed. Anyway, it's been great speaking with you, Champ. You've had four great wins now since winning the WBC title - Witter, Cherry, Holt and Campbell. You must feel you are getting better and better in each fight?

T.B: We're trying to get better, man. I want to fight the best in the world. I don't want to take the safe route, I want to take the hard route. And people know that about me. Everything I have in my career I've earned. I've never had a silver spoon in my mouth. I've always had things hard.

J.S: Well, I hope you get the big money you deserve in future fights. Thanks for talking to me.

T.B: Okay, talk to you soon.

Article posted on 06.08.2009

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