"The second fight, people definitely will open their eyes. I know everybody has their opinion and they have their person they like, you know, the fighters they like in the sport, but like I tell you for every single fight, man, and I don't know when it's going to click in peoples' mind, but it's no different, man. At the end of the day, my hand will be raised and I will be victorious, man. Once again, I will be victorious, man, and I'm gonna beat Pacquiao," stated undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, who talked about his April 12 rematch with multi-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Check it out!
BT: What's good, Tim? Congratulations on finalizing the rematch with Pacquiao. I take it you were pleased with the terms of both the fight and the contract extension.
TB: Man, everything is good. Both sides agreed to fight verbally and I agreed to the contract extension verbally as well. I just want to thank Top Rank, man, for basically everything that they done; thank Top Rank and definitely HBO. They gave me everything I asked for, so I can't complain. I'm happy with the terms and satisfied with it.
BT: At any point during the process of finalizing the fight, was there ever any doubt in your mind that the deal would get done?
TB: There really wasn't a doubt, man. You know, you never know in this boxing business. It's just like one day, it's one thing, and next day, it's another thing, but I don't really worry about it, man. I didn't really worry about if I was going to fight Pacquiao or not, you know what I mean. It was just like, hey, I'd like to fight him, you know, does he want to fight me? That was basically it. That's how the conversation started. They didn't know or ask me if I was interested. I came to them, I sat down and was like, "Okay, I want to fight some time maybe in March or April," and I said, "We need to talk about some possible opponents and some guys I could face." They mentioned a couple names and then I said, "Well, what about Pacquiao? Is he interested in fighting me?" And they said, "Well, we'll check." And that's just how it came about. It wasn't like, "I want to fight Pacquiao! I want to fight Pacquiao!" I was just like, let me see all the options out there and then I'll pick the best option.
BT: After the first fight, there was a time where it looked like Pacquiao wanted the immediate rematch, but then they decided to go in a different direction. When that happened, did you think that, eventually, the rematch would present itself again to you?
TB: I thought we were gonna maybe run it back due to the controversy and everything, but he chose to do whatever he wanted to do. So at that time, it was just like, hey, I need to sit down and see which path I'ma take. He didn't want to do the rematch, but I need to rebuild my career and, you know, move forward in my career and not really worry about Manny. That's when I fought Provodnikov and I had success with that. Whatever happened in that fight definitely helped boost my career. And then I was like, you know what, I want to fight new blood; let me test the guy that knocked out Pacquiao. And I beat Marquez hands down. You know, I always wanted to get it on with Pacquiao again, you know what I mean. It was always in the back of my head, but I was just like, eh, I'll let it materialize again. He didn't want to run it back the first time right after the controversy, so I was like, you know what, I'll take my time. He took his time; I take my time. Now, it's time, man. I think it's perfect for both of us. I think that I can basically redeem from the first fight what I didn't get. In this fight, I can get all the credit for beating Pacquiao this time. I didn't get no credit for the first fight. A lot of people, a lot of spectators, a lot of fans felt that I didn't deserve it; that I didn't win the fight. You know, that's kind of hard, man, you know what I mean? That's hard for me and I don't think I can move forward in my career without fighting this guy again and putting no doubts in peoples' mind and actually beating him convincingly, man. This is my opportunity to do that and I'm gonna do it.
BT: You mentioned the controversy from the first fight. Midway through that fight, it looked like you switched your style up enough to start winning some of those late rounds. How much do you remember about that fight and how close do you remember some of those rounds being?
TB: Well, what ended up happening was I had injured my foot in the second round. The first round was a very close round. Some people thought I edged that round; a lot of people thought he edged that round. In the second round, that's when the foot injury happened on the bottom of my foot. I had ligament damage, so basically my game plan altered from there because I couldn't move like I wanted to. A lot of those beginning rounds, it was like 3, 4, 5, and 6, we were just trying to make adjustments, man, to just be able to deal with the pain I was going through. Dude, you know, when you're fighting against one of the best fighters in the world and then you have a foot injury, you're wounded. That takes some mental toughness, man. You gotta be tough. I had to get past that pain, you know what I'm saying, and once I was able to get past that pain, I just went completely numb; my foot went completely numb. Then I was able to just move and do what I needed to do in the fight. Like I said, down the stretch, I had some really good rounds down the stretch and that's what won me the fight.
BT: Considering the success you had down the stretch despite having the injury, can we expect an even better performance this second time around?
TB: The second fight, people definitely will open their eyes. I know everybody has their opinion and they have their person they like, you know, the fighters they like in the sport, but like I tell you for every single fight, man, and I don't know when it's going to click in peoples' mind, but it's no different, man. At the end of the day, my hand will be raised and I will be victorious, man. Once again, I will be victorious, man, and I'm gonna beat Pacquiao.
BT: After your first fight with him, Pacquiao went on to fight Marquez and suffered a brutal knockout loss. Since then, he had a successful comeback fight against Brandon Rios. Did you see anything different about Pacquiao in that fight?
TB: He doesn't have that killer instinct. Yeah, he didn't have that killer instinct in that Rios fight. I think it was because Rios has that power. So he's a little scared of that power, man. There was times where he probably could've finished Rios, or attempt to, and he played it safe, you know what I'm saying. So I think that's gonna definitely work in my advantage. I think that he might not want to engage too much with me. I know I'm not a Rios-type puncher, you know, but I know in that first fight, he was real defensive for some reason, boy. He was defensive. Yeah, when you go back and watch that fight and you see how defensive that guy was fighting me; he was defensive, dude, and he only worked like maybe a minute in every round. He was putting his hands up most of the time trying to block shots and get out of the way. This time around, I don't think he's gonna engage that much, man. He got hurt; he admitted that Rios hurt him with a shot, so, you know, like I said, I'm not a Rios puncher, but I got a punch. If I couldn't punch, man, these guys would be running straight through me. That's why I tell people all the time, if I fight a guy that can't punch, you know, I fought Devon Alexander and I felt he couldn't punch; I walked straight through him. I just went to go eat him. I was just like, man, I'ma just eat you alive, dude. For some reason, I get in the rings with these guys and they don't have the ability to do that, man. If they say I don't hit hard, why not come straight through me? Why not come to me? Why not step to me? So I must have a little kick in my punches. They sting a little bit (laughing).
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK SOON FOR PART 2 OF THIS INTERVIEW WITH UNDEFEATED WBO WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION TIMOTHY BRADLEY
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