Bradley takes swipe at Brits ahead of Pacquiao world welterweight clash
00:17 GMT, 9 June 2012
At the big religious convention here – correction, world welterweight title fight – the milk of human kindness is in short supply for British heroes past and present.
Timothy Bradley, who shares Manny Pacquiao's belief in God if not quite the Damascan conversion of lifestyle which the PacMan has undergone, is talking disparagingly about Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan.
Up for it: Manny Pacquiao (centre) and Timothy Bradley at the official weigh-in
At the climax of a week dominated by
Pacquiao's Biblical rejection of human temptation, the rhetoric suddenly
sounds more typical of Sin City. Before venturing into the MGM Grand
Garden Arena this evening to face arguably the best pound-for-pound
fighter on the planet, Bradley took time out for sideswipes at Hatton
When told that Pacquiao's Hall of
Fame trainer Freddie Roach had characterised him as The Hitman Mark 11 –
which many would consider a compliment – Bradley said: 'Hell, this guy
is supposed to be the best trainer on earth and he analyses me like
that. Holy crap.'
Hatton retired after being knocked
cold by Pacquiao in this very ring and Bradley argued: 'How can Freddie
compare me with the only guy Manny has taken out with one clean hit If
that's their analysis of me they're in deep trouble here.'
Khan, as he stops by at ringside
tonight en route to next month's world light-welterweight title fight
with WBC champion Danny Garcia, is issuing reminders that he twice
offered to fight Bradley.
The American hit back: 'Before I die
I'm gonna fight this dude Khan. That's a promise. I've got a bigger
fight here but once I've kicked Manny's ass I'm going to kick his.'
Khan would welcome that opportunity, while for Bradley to fulfil his first part of the deal is easier said than done.
The Americans are straining to make a
case for a major upset, one based on everything from Pacquiao's
sluggish and disputed victory over Juan Manuel Marquez last time out to a
suspicion that his deepened spirituality may dull his ferocious warrior
Their man buys heavily into that
optimism and, to be fair to him, his remarks about Hatton and Khan are
not consistent with a most likeable character.
Bradley is a quick-witted,
articulate 29-year-old who generally conducts himself in a courteous and
respectful manner and is grateful for the life-altering benefits which
boxing is bestowing upon himself and his young family.
Pac-ing a punch: Freddie Roach (left) and Manny Pacquiao prepare for Bradley test
He recalls his early working years as a dishwasher and a waiter respectively at cafes called Coco's and Mimi's.
When pressed he confirms the stories
of how, even though he had little or nothing himself, if he saw an old
lady struggling to pay a modest bill in one of those establishment he
would pick up the tab.
The winning of the WBC and WBO world
light-welterweight titles – the first at the expense of our own Junior
Witter in Nottingham four years ago – lifted Bradley out of the poverty
Defences against the likes of Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander and Joel Casamayor secured his financial future.
Now he collects the most enriching, seven-figure purse of his career.
He says: 'I used to be one of the guys who are like rats trapped in a maze but boxing has lifted me out of that maze.'
Peterson, of course, controversially
interrupted Khan's reign as a world champion and Bradley takes heart
from having outclassed the man from Washington when they met.
However, Peterson was pumped up
against Khan by steroids from a pellet implanted in his hip. Not that
any such drug abuse by an opponent would seem to worry Bradley.
Using my religion: Pacquiao and Bradley promoting clean-cut living
When reminded of Floyd Mayweather's
insinuations about Pacquiao's dope testing, he said: 'It wouldn't bother
me. Manny would have to be on something very good to beat me.' Bradley
lives a vegan lifestyle while in training camp and has had organic food
brought here from his favourite restaurant in Palm Springs.
He says: 'My dietician told me that
350-pound gorillas of enormous strength eat grass, plants and
trees….not meat. Good enough for me.'
Pacquiao's nutritionist, Alex Ariza,
caused a disturbance in his camp when he left the Philippines to help
another client, Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr, prepare for a fight.
That also gives hope to team Bradley,
although the storm in a green-teacup has been resolved since Roach
admonished Ariza and allowed him back into the corner.
Media frenzy: Pacquiao confident ahead of the superfight with Bradley
While Bradley expressed vehement
belief that he can overturn the 5-1 betting odds against him, Pacquiao
simply says: 'I am very confident.'
His only concern is with Bradley's notorious habit of lunging in with his head and the risk of cuts that brings.
Bradley promises to 'keep the head out of the equation because I don't want to hear any excuses after I win.'
But a renowned cuts man, Miguel Diaz,
is joining Roach and Ariza in the PacMan's corner. Pacquiao accepts
that he needs to 'put on a show' to reassure his millions of worshipful
Filipinos around the world as he prepares, as a Congressman already, to
run for state governor next year.
He also needs a convincing
performance to ensure that Mayweather will be thinking about their
potential mega-fight when he comes out of the nearby jail-house a few
weeks from now.
He also needs to reassure Roach that
reports of his decline are premature, at 33, and that retirement is off
the agenda for another year at least Bradley is a muscular specimen who
vows to thwart those ambitions with some cute footwork as well as a
cocked right hand but a low KO ratio – just 12 in his 29 fights thus far
– does not suggest that he has the power to deter the iron-jawed
champion from throwing his typical high volume of punches to put a
points win beyond doubt.
Not that it is certain to go the full 12 rounds.
A late stoppage by the PacMan would be no great surprise.