Timothy Bradley believes that early complaints from Team Pacquiao, including trainer Freddie Roach saying he's a dirty fighter, mean that there's some trepidation from the Pacquiao side going into their June 9 fight, which was signed this week.
From The Desert Sun:
"That doesn't bother me man. It just shows Freddie is a little worried about this fight," Bradley said. "That stuff doesn't get under my skin. People have said worse things about me before.
"He can complain and call me a dirty fighter, this and that. But at the end of the day, we still have to get it on. The last time I checked, it's a boxing match, it's a fight. You know, it's a fight. It doesn't matter what English he's trying to work. It's not going to bother me and it's not going to stop me from doing what I do."
There's no doubt that Bradley (28-0, 12 KO) has a history of head clashes in his fights, and that he's perfectly willing to mix it up and make it rough for his opponents. If you want to call it fighting dirty, I think that's fair enough, but it's a part of the boxing game, and Roach knows that as well as anyone.
Bradley also notes that Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO) has a tendency to lead with his head as well. In a lefty vs righty matchup, that could lead to big-time danger of cuts for this fight. It's a legitimate concern.
[ Related: Who Is Timothy Bradley, And Why Should You Care? ]
Bradley also says he won't be the smaller man in the ring, in case anyone believes that his coming up from 140 puts him at a size disadvantage:
“This is what the public doesn't realize, when I was 16, I didn't fight at 118. I fought at 152 pounds when I was 16. I naturally walk around at 160, 165 pounds. Manny probably gets no higher than 155, maybe 150 walking around. ... If you look at my muscle mass, his muscle mass, I'm the bigger guy. What Manny does have is bigger legs. His legs are ridiculous. Where he makes up for it is his leg, I make up for it with the top half of my body."
I don't personally see this fight having a size issue at all. Both are really 140-pound fighters fighting at 147, as I've always thought Pacquiao was more a 140 guy fighting at 147 since he's moved up. He's still quite good at 147, obviously, but would it really be his ideal weight class? Probably not. The two should be right around the same size on fight night, with no major re-hydration or anything.