Timothy Bradley relishes idea of sending legendary Manny Pacquiao into retirement in Las Vegas
Bradley is confident he will retire the Filipino legend on April 9 at the MGM Grand
When Manny Pacquiao spoke with commitment this week of retiring, there was some internal applause next to him from his April 9 opponent, Timothy Bradley Jnr.
“The fact Manny’s calling this his farewell fight, there’s something to be said about that,” Bradley said of the remarks Tuesday at a Beverly Hills news conference. “It could be the end, and it could backfire on him, because that’s a thought in the back of his mind.”
Bradley (33-1-1, 13 knockouts) boasts a disputed 2012 split-decision victory over Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), but he convincingly lost the 2014 rematch by unanimous decision and is plotting to turn the trilogy into a goodbye party.
Much of Bradley’s confidence is rooted in his relationship with new trainer Teddy Atlas, who motivated Bradley to a dominant ninth-round stoppage of former lightweight champion Brandon Rios on November 7.
During the fight, Atlas spoke of Bradley’s need to brave Rios’ up-close punches so that he could land the blows that ultimately won the fight.
“I’ve made some changes, and now I understand my identity as a fighter, what I’m supposed to be. Teddy made me realise that. I’m calmer this time around,” Bradley said.
As Pacquiao, 37, eyes a seat in the Philippines’ Senate with a May 9 election date, Bradley said he’s thinking about nothing other than winning the HBO pay-per-view bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
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Bradley intends to follow the same route against Pacquiao that he took in beating Rios.
“(Pacquiao) won’t change. He’ll be the same. We’ve already had a mini-camp, a two-day camp to look at film and go over the strategy of what I’m going to do, the things I need to watch out for, the things I need to take advantage of,” Bradley said.
Atlas’ theme for his Pacquiao preparation is “The Log in the Ocean.”
“I won’t elaborate on it, but I will say this: The ocean is very deceiving,” Bradley said.
The fighter has 24 rounds of ring experience against Pacquiao but says he yields to Atlas’ direction.
“Teddy is the guru of boxing,” Bradley said. “Teddy knows nothing about anything else … 45 years in the game. He’s in total control. He listens to me, but he has his way and I’m going to follow that way. I believe in his way.”
So much so that when Pacquiao and Bradley were described at Tuesday’s news conference as the “Manning and Brady” of boxing, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach cracked that he’d win with “Manning.”
“The last (Pacquiao) fight, I had a completely different mind-set,” Bradley said. “I went out there to be something I wasn’t instead of being true to myself.
“The way Teddy breaks down film, it’s amazing. And I’m different. This fight is not about Pacquiao. I don’t fear Pacquiao. It’s about me – me being the best I can be, being sharp, in tune, fundamentally sound, confident.”
Promoter Bob Arum is interested in staging a Bradley fight against unbeaten junior-welterweight champion Terence Crawford if both win their upcoming fights, but Bradley said he doesn’t want that.
“That fight will never happen. With Crawford, it’s about respect, love and family. There’s no reason for him to knock me off, or me knock him off,” Bradley said. “We’re both in the same business. He’s like a younger brother to me, and we’ve built the relationship over the years. Money won’t move me at all.”