Timothy Bradley is ready to prove he belongs with the elite when he faces Manny Pacquiao on June 9. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Timothy Bradley tells Ryan Burton of BoxingScene.com that it wasn't easy for him to sit around and wait out the Manny Pacquiao decision for June 9, but now that he's the Pacquiao foe on that date, he's happy he waited, and thankful for the chance.
Bradley (28-0, 12 KO) says that after two years with just three fights total, he was itching to get into the ring, and didn't care if it was against Pacquiao -- a fight he wanted, but knew not to expect. After Miguel Cotto dropped out of the running, and Juan Manuel Marquez became a non-factor in the race for various reasons, the 28-year-old Bradley, in just his second fight under the Top Rank banner, became the choice. Maybe by default, but Bradley doesn't seem concerned so much with how he got the fight, just that he got it.
He does paint a bit of a picture, though:
"I think he chose me to silence the critics. I think that my name has been rumored around his camp for a while now. I think that he finally decided let's give Bradley a shot and that he will have a live dog in there with him."
This scenario is probably unlikely, given that Bradley was at least a firm No. 2 choice behind MIguel Cotto, and after Cotto dropped to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 5, the options were pretty severely limited. As Bradley says, Lamont Peterson would have been an odd choice, and was probably never really in the running. Juan Manuel Marquez and Top Rank never seemed to enter into any significant negotiations for a fourth fight in June. With Cotto gone, that left Bradley.
But for a default choice, it's a pretty damn good one. We're talking about the world's best junior welterweight, who has proven himself against top-ranked fighters repeatedly, has what could be a difficult style for Manny, and doesn't line up as an easy night at the office for the Filipino.