Timothy Bradley: “My ultimate goal is to stay undefeated”

boxingby Geoffrey Ciani - This week’s 80th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with reigning WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs) who is currently preparing for a July 17 fight against Luis Carlos Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs). The fight, which takes place at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California, is scheduled at 147 pounds and will represent Bradley’s HBO debut appearance. Bradley talked about his upcoming fight and his future plans in the 140-47 pound landscape. Here is some of what he had to say:

On training and preparations for his July 17 fight against Luis Carlos Abregu:
“It’s been a tough training camp. You know, with seven pounds added on to the weight it’s just been tough sparring against these big guys and having these big six foot guy going in there and beating up on me. So it’s been kind of tough dealing with the style, but it’s towards the end of the training camp now so I’m able to deal with them a lot easier now than before—tough rounds, really tough sparring rounds in the gym. I’m feeling really confident about the fight and the amount of work I’ve been doing. I’ve also incorporated some strength training so I’m feeling a lot stronger in the ring. I’m looking forward to having a dominant performance July 17.”

On whether he believes he will have more power at the higher weight class:
“I’m hoping, I’m hoping. A lot of my sparring partners aren’t sitting in front of me so they’re moving and they’re feeling that pop on the end of my shots. Hopefully I’ll have a little bit more power. I would think I would with the added seven pounds and not having to suck down all of the water I have to do when I’m making 140. So I’m very excited about it. I’m comfortable at this weight..

On what he has seen and expects from Abregu:
“He’s a tough guy. He comes to fight, has great stamina, a good right hand, a great right uppercut, he’s really aggressive in the ring, he has a new trainer now so it looks like he’s starting to box a little more and use his distance and stuff, but I think he lacks in big fight experience. He is a bigger guy than I am but I just feel like I’ll be able to use my skills and experience to dominate the fight.”

On what he believes will be his key to victory against Abregu:
“My jab. My jab I think is the key. If I can isolate him with my jab and out-jab the bigger guy I feel like I’ll give him a lot of problems. I’ll keep him off balance, he won’t know when to come in, I can follow up with my right hand or my left hook. So the jab is the key to winning this fight.”

On whether this move to 147 is coming sooner than he would have anticipated:
“Yeah, absolutely. I thought that the only time I would probably go up to 147 pounds is either to face like a fighter in Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. I’m looking to make this leap up there and just test myself and open up other doors. If the boxing fans and boxing public see me do well there at 147 pounds they’re going to say, well there shouldn’t be any excuses for this guy not to get a shot at the best fighters in the world. There’s a lot of options and there’s a lot more money at 147 than there is at 140. Even though there is a lot of competition still left at 140, I’m still able to go either up or down to face all this competition, and I want all these fights. I would love to fight Devon Alexader, Marcos Maidana, and I would love to fight Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz and guys like that. These guys are young fighters who are looking to make a name for themselves and I would love to be in the mix with them.”

On which fighter he would ultimately like to face in the welterweight division:
“They’ve been talking to me about Andre Berto, they have been talking to me about Shane. Obviously the big money fights would be against Manny Pacquiao or Floyd. If they can’t work anything out, they’re going to need some dance partners. Any of these guys would be great fights at 147. At 140, as I just said, there’s a lot of talent there as well. It’s just I feel that at this moment it just needs a little more time to develop. Maybe Khan can fight a couple of more fights, Devon could fight a couple of more fights and really get our names really blown up to where we’d be fighting for big mega bucks.”

On whether he plans to move back and forth between 140 and 147 if needed to land the big fights:
“Absolutely. When I come out of this fight successfully I will definitely consider fighting at 140 possibly after this fight, maybe facing Marcos Maidana. Then if a big fight at 147 was to happen, then I’ll go up and fight either Andre Berto, or fight against Manny, or Floyd, or even Shane. There’s a lot of options out there. I just have to take care of business on the 17th and then we’ll re-explore and we’ll see what will be our next move. I’ll sit down with my promoters and my manager and we’ll talk.”

On whether he is at all concerned that the fighters at 147 will be too strong and powerful:
“No, I’m never worried about that. When I’m in the ring I just fight. I don’t really worry about the power or anything like that. I have a lot of skill so if he lands a big shot on me, if he doesn’t hurt me then it’s going to be a long night for him. But if he does, it’s just part of boxing. You can’t really worry about being knocked down or possibly being knocked out. Those are negative things that you have to get out of your head before you even get into the ring. I don’t really think about that at all. He can’t hit what’s not there, what’s not sitting in front of him, so if I’m not there to be hit then I think I’ll be alright.”

On who he would rather face given the opportunity –Andre Berto or Shane Mosley and why:
“I would rather fight Andre Berto. I think Ande Berto would be a great fight due to the fact that we came up in the amateurs together. Andre Berto’s a good friend of mine. We speak all the time. We’re always interested in talking about our next preparation and things like that so he knows a lot about me and I know a lot about him, but this is business. We would have to put our friendship aside to make this fight happen, but I think stylistically it’s a heck of a fight. You know the boxing fans they’re leaning towards Andre Berto due to the fact that he’s a lot bigger, he’s a bigger puncher and things like that. They got to see what I can do at 147 first before they judge me. I would rather fight probably Andre Berto than Shane Mosley right now because Andre is younger and he’s the hottest guy. If I fight Sugar Shane, he’s coming off of the big loss with Floyd Mayweather so I’d rather fight the undefeated fighter. I think it would mean more recognition.”

On whether he believes a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will ever happen:
“That fight will never happen. I don’t think that fight will ever happen due to the fact Mayweather wants certain things a certain way, Manny wants things a certain way, both of these guys are at the top of their game. It’s going to be hard to negotiate a fight like that unless Floyd either takes 50-50 or Pacman agrees to the drug testing. I’m not sure what’s going on right now with that fight because they’ve been very disclosed about it but I don’t think that fight is going to ever happen due to the type of camps and the way these guys take the fights in their contracts. I hope the fight happens, but more than likely it’s been too long for that fight not to happen and I think it’s going to continue to be that way.”

On who he would pick in a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao if it did happen:
“Floyd Mayweather—all day, Floyd Mayweather. I think Floyd will be able to isolate Pacman. He’s a smaller guy. Even though Pacman throws a lot of punches I think Floyd would be able to isolate him with his movement, a good jab, stiff combinations, punching in between. At times Manny can get a little wild. I think Floyd is smart enough to make him pay in between so I will take Floyd Mayweather all day.”

On how he feels he would perform in a fight against Floyd Mayweather Junior:
“Well, I mean that would be a dream come true. When I first started my professional career I said that if Floyd was still fighting by the time I got to the top that I would be the first man to beat him. There’s a lot of speculation around that fight that they may face me, but nothing’s really solid right now. I just feel like I know him so well, I grew up watching him especially when I started my professional career. I was watching Floyd Mayweather before I even started my professional career. I idolized him a lot and I looked at a lot of things he likes to do. I know when he’s trying to set up his right hand, I know when he’s trying to set up his left hook, I just know him really well. It’s just the fact that getting in that ring with that big crowd on that big stage and you realize you’re fighting the best fighter in the world—that’s going to be tough. Mentally I have to prepare myself tremendously to get in the ring with that guy.”

On whether he believes guys like Amir Khan and Devon Alexander are really interested in fighting him:
“I know Alexander is. He’s made me aware on several occasions. We’ve gone back and forth through the press between camps and stuff. There’s some bad things they’ve said about me, saying that I’m scared. I’m like, dude, I’m a fighter. I’m a fighter man, I’m not scared of no man. It’s just there’s a business part of boxing as well that the fans don’t really realize. Any fighter will fight any fighter but there’s a business side to boxing as well. We got to think about that as well. I think Khan, on the other hand right now, with Freddie he’s a great matchmaker and right now I think that he feels Khan is not ready yet to get in the ring with me at this moment. But sooner or later, as he takes his fights and gets different styles and things Khan will be ready. Once he’s groomed him to where Freddie wants him to be then Freddie will call me out. He will. I think they’re trying to build him a little bit more. I don’t knock anybody’s plan, but sooner or later we’re going to get in on anyway. It’s just a matter of time. Everything’s about timing.”

On whether he would be interested in a fight with Devon Alexander if the circumstances were right:
“Oh yeah, that’s a fight that I want. I want that fight so bad. My promoters right now are the ones that are holding me back. They’re like dude, that’s a huge fight. It’s for three of the alphabetical belts. We definitely have to be taken care of, no doubt.”

His views on the Super Six super middleweight tournament:
“I’ve been following the Super Six. I called it from day one that Andre Ward was going to win the whole thing. He’s looking really sharp right now. I grew up with that guy in the amateurs, but you know, I’m watching it. I was a little disappointed in Allan Green and the way he came to fight. I thought he could have fought a better fight than that. Other than that with all the fighters, you got Andre Dirrell and Andre Ward are going to be facing off and I’m excited to see that fight and see how that fight develops. You still got Carl Froch in there and Kessler. You know these guys are the top guys in their division and I’m amazed seeing these guys go at one another. The loser of the tournament, this is like the type of tournament that can either make you or break you. If you get a couple of losses under your belt it can hurt your career and if you win the whole thing then man, you’re the man. So that tournament’s tough. It’s a tough tournament, and I’m liking what I’m seeing, man. Showtime’s doing a good job with that tournament.”

On whether he would be interested in participating in a tournament similar to the Super Six in the 140 or 147 pound weight class and whether he thinks that would be practical:
“Yes and no. Yes and no due to the fact that if we all had the same promoter then definitely, but we don’t all have the same promoter and we all don’t have the same goals in mind. In any kind of business things can be negotiated to where we could make this happen but I think some people are going to be like, oh we don’t like this and we don’t like that. It might not happen, but I’m all for it. I think a tournament would be great for boxing, especially for the 140 pound division because we got a lot of young talent there. I’m all for it.”

His views on the August 7 fight between Devon Alexander and Andriy Kotelnik:
“Devon by unanimous decision. I think Devon will be too quick for Kotelnik. Kotelnik’s a straight up fighter with good defense, very disciplined with his punches but I just think that Devon, being a crafty lefty with fast cat-like reflexes, I think he’ll be able to overcome Kotelnik in this fight.”

On whether he believes he will bring any type of different mentality into the ring against Abregu considering this will be his first non-title since 2007:
“No, no, this fight is for the title. This fight is for a lot of recognition at 147 pounds. It’s a twelve round fight, it is a title fight to me so there’s nothing different that I’m going to bring into the ring. I’m going in the ring like it’s my last fight and this guy’s in my way to getting to where I want to be. I just got to go in there and seek-and-destroy—just take him out any way necessary. A lot of people want to have a dominating performance or want to look impressive doing it. Me, I don’t have that mentality. I don’t put that type of stress on my mind. You can try to look good and not look good at all, but I just like to go in there and fight my fight and win—anyway necessary. Whether it’s a knockout and if a knockout doesn’t happen I’m ready to go twelve rounds, twelve hard rounds, and I’m going to get it anyway necessary. That’s the type of mentality I take into my fights.”

On whether he believes the sport of boxing is healthy today:
“Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s a new era moving in and I think that with the Andre Dirrells and the Andre Wards there is a lot of young talent out there that’s starting to turn professional right now. I think there’s a new era, myself, coming up. Andre Berto and all these guys I grew up with for the ’04 Olympic Trials. It’s a new era moving in and I think a lot of these guys are going to wind up facing each other. I loved that Paul Williams and Martinez fight. That was an awesome fight. The Floyd Mayweather-Mosley fight was an awesome fight to me. I thought that was great for boxing. The Manny Pacquiao-Clottey fight was great. I think boxing is back on the scene and in the near future I think a lot of these fighters are going to be facing one another. Like the 140 pound division is very hot with a lot of young, young talent. I see something happening like when Leonard and Duran and Hearns and Hagler—when they had their fights, I see something happening like that in the near future with all these top guys at 140.”

On his ultimate goal in professional boxing:
“My ultimate goal is to stay undefeated. That’s my ultimate goal—to stay undefeated and eventually I want to capture a welterweight championship. That’s my ultimate goals right now. If I can maintain and stay undefeated this year, I think 2011 will be a huge year for me because then I think I will have a lot more options and a lot more people will want to fight me.”

His official prediction on his upcoming fight against Abregu:
“I see it as just a boxing lesson. I know I have the tools to outbox this guy. I’m not going in there looking for a knockout. I’m not going to go in there and get reckless because this guy’s a dangerous puncher. So I’m looking for a great boxing night just using my skills and using my abilities and my advantages and my speed. Hopefully I can catch him. Hopefully I can catch him over the top, or underneath, or something. This guy has been down before, I’ve been down before, and I think whoever lands the biggest punch and lands it right on the button is going to go down.”


For those interested in listening to the Timothy Bradley interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twenty-two minutes into the show.


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Article posted on 09.07.2010

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