Las Vegas, Nevada – Timothy Bradley says he is not about to let the chance of a lifetime pass him by when he steps into the ring against Filipino fight king Manny Pacquiao on Saturday.
“It's all or nothing,” Bradley vowed on Wednesday. “No rounds off. Round by round, I have to win each one.”
Bradley, 28, is unbeaten in 28 fights. But he has never fought anyone of Pacquiao's stature and his record includes just 12 knockouts.
He'll be fighting for just the second time at 147 pounds, moving up to challenge for Pacquiao's World Boxing Organization welterweight belt.
Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach says he doesn't believe Bradley has the speed or power to beat his fighter.
Roach questions the wisdom of Bradley's vegan diet – a rarity in the boxing world – and says the Californian's muscular physique could be a hindrance rather than an asset.
Bradley acknowledges the highly publicized bout is a step up for him, but says the years of paying his dues fighting in club venues have given him the versatility to adapt to whatever Pacquiao presents.
“I came from the lumberjack yards, fighting in little ballrooms. Now we're in Las Vegas ... and we're going to be fighting in front of thousands of people,” said Bradley, who once waited tables to support himself as he tried to establish his ring career.
In 2008, Bradley travelled to Nottingham, England, where he defeated Junior Witter to win the World Boxing Council light welterweight world title.
He said he took home about $40,000 for that bout – a useful payday for a man who had just a few dollars in the bank at the time.
Less than a year later he survived two knockdowns en route to a victory over Kendall Holt.
Bradley's last bout was an eight-round technical knockout of former world champion Joel Casamayor in November.
That was on the undercard of Pacquiao's controversial majority decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez.
The bout with Casamayor came 10 months after a victory over Devon Alexander, after which Bradley had a potential date with Amir Khan.
That match-up fell through, but Bradley said he believes he has at last landed where he ought to be.
“It's been a long journey, but I knew at some point I would get here,” he said.
On Saturday he stands to make a minimum of $5 million, but a victory over Pacquiao – regarded by many in the sport as the world's best pound-for-pound fighter – would be a priceless boost to his career. Bradley says he will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
“I don' t look pretty, I don' t look spectacular. I don' t have that spark. I don't do that one thing where everyone says 'Wow',” Bradley admitted.
“I know I'm going to have to do it in this fight. You could see some greatness on Saturday.” – Sapa-AFP