Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The SNB Interview: Timothy Bradley -- Part III

Saturday Night Boxing recently talked with junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in a wide-ranging interview that touched on many key aspects of his boxing career. To read Part I of the interview, click here.  To read Part II, click here.  

In Part III, Bradley discusses his evolving ring style, from a boxer to a pressure fighter.  He also talks about his relationship with welterweight titlist Andre Berto, and a potential fight between the two boxers. Additionally, Bradley reveals his best moment in boxing and what he feels has been his most complete performance in the ring.   

Interview by Adam Abramowitz

SNB: What do you think your best performance has been so far?

TB: Lamont Peterson. My Lamont Peterson performance was great because it displayed a different side of me. A lot of boxing fans, they really love that style. The fact that Lamont actually came and brought that fight to me, I was able to make that adjustment and switch my style.

I was pretty much a boxer through my whole amateur career. I liked to move around and throw flashy combinations. Move around. Throw flashy combinations – big combinations, things like that. Once I got with my trainer, Joel Diaz, he said that that’s not going to sell. That’s not going to do anything for you. You need to become a hunter.

So, I’m a hunter now. It’s instinctive now. I love to train that way for the last six years, to be the hunter in the ring. That’s why you always see me walking forward and coming forward and try to bang, because now I’m a hunter. I’m going to go get them and not let them set me up.

I can make that transition. If Joel pushes me hard enough, I can definitely make that transition into a boxer and move around like a boxer-puncher. Move around and catch them with angled shots and use my legs to set up shots.

SNB: In three years, where do you see yourself in boxing? Perfect world. Everything goes right. Where do you see yourself?

TB: In three years I think I’m definitely going to be pound-for-pound, either one or two. I think that with the right fights at 140, no one can beat me. I feel that at 140 ( I don't know it for a fact – I haven’t fought the guys)...I feel that deep in my heart, at 140, these guys at 140 right now – the Top-10 – no one can beat me.

But going up to '47, that’s a different weight class. You have guys a lot bigger than I am. That would be a tougher challenge for me to face some big guys out there at ‘47. Then again, I believe in my abilities. I feel I can pretty much do anything in there. A lot of bigger guys – they are a lot slower than I am, so I’ll be able to hit them and move. Hit them and move.

SNB: I was going to come with something else, but if you ever go back up to 147 full-time, I feel like you owe Andre Berto some comeuppance from the amateur days [Berto has victories over Bradley in the amateurs].

TB: Yeah. (laughs) Me and Andre Berto. That’s my partner, man. I like Andre Berto a lot. He’s a good buddy of mine. You know I’ll call him for advice. He calls me for advice. We stay in tune. I give him support. He’s a buddy of mine but we know the boxing game – business is business. One day it’s going to happen but right now, we’re not on each other’s radar. No one’s really talking about us fighting. We spoke about it. We both said, “Hey, they got to pay us a lot of money to do this.” (laughs)

We have joked around about it. He’s a good buddy of mine and good luck to him with his fight with Victor Ortiz coming up in January [actually, February 11 in Las Vegas]. I think he’s definitely going to do a lot better in this fight now that he has guys like Victor Conte looking after his nutrition and supplements, and stuff like that – and definitely helping him with his conditioning. I think that’s going to play a huge factor in this fight because he did look lax and lackadaisical in the first fight. He didn’t look like he was all there. He didn’t look like the Andre Berto that I knew. He looked like he was definitely lax with his body. I think everybody was looking for the real Andre Berto to come out in that fight. That’s why he was highly favored to win the fight.

That’s definitely a fight [Bradley vs. Berto] that I keep hearing people try to bring up, but like I said, they are definitely going to have to pay us a lot of money to make that happen.

SNB: To this point, what's been your best moment or favorite moment in boxing? What’s the one thing that you are most proud of?

TB: I think my best moment in boxing definitely has to be me winning the championship over in England [against Junior Witter]. I think that was definitely the best moment in my career. That’s the reason why I’m here, in this position, because of that England fight. You know I definitely want to thank all the judges, the ref and everybody for being fair in the fight and giving me a fair chance of winning that fight. I think that's the highlight of my career.

SNB: As an aside, that’s pretty much the only fight of yours that has been really close as a professional. Is that right? Most of the others have been – I guess with [Kendall] Holt there were a few knockdowns – but most of the other fights have been pretty wide. Was the Witter one the only one that was really up in the air like that?

TB: Well, the Witter fight wasn’t even really supposed to be up in the air. If it was in the states, I definitely would've won that one easier. But other than that, all these other fights – all the other fights that I've ever had – I’ve either stopped them or I beat them unanimously. That was the only fight that was close.

SNB: When it’s all said and done, how do you want to be remembered in boxing?

TB: I don't know. I don’t really think about that. I used to say things awhile back, but whatever. Now I’m in a different…you know, us fighters, we change – day in, day out. We have different goals. Things happen in our lives. We have a different mindset each year because of various things that happen in our lives. But right now, I really don’t know how I want to be remembered. I’ll let the people decide that.

I just want to continue to fight and definitely support my family. Put on great shows for the boxing fans. We’ll see what happens.

I want to see if I can get out of this game before this game gets out of me. I don’t want to be any of these other fighters that are fighting – no disrespect to anybody – but I don’t want to be in this game too long and not have my wits. I definitely want to keep my edge. I eventually want to be mentally OK. I’ve been doing this 18 years now. I think it’s almost time – in the next maybe two or three years –to get out of this game.

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