Timothy Bradley says he's worked hard to avoid headbutts on Saturday night, in part because of Manny Pacquiao leading recklessly with his own head. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Timothy Bradley's head has been a subject of much discussion in the lead-up to his HBO pay-per-view main event with Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, and more to the point, Timothy Bradley's headbutts have been an area of great concern for many, both those involved with the fight and those outside as observers.
It's no secret that Bradley's head has gotten involved in more than one of his past fights, but the 28-year-old California fighter is tired of hearing that he purposely uses his head, and while he doesn't really deny that idea, he says it's more just something that happens:
"I keep that chin tucked, and where is that head? Straight down the middle," Bradley said. "When these guys come in and try to hold me, I'm right there. Boom.
"I'll tell you something, we've been really focusing on not allowing the heads to clash. We've been working on throwing our shots before we step in. I don't want any damn excuses at the end of the night after I whoop that butt."
Bradley (28-0, 12 KO) may or may not use his head "on purpose," but we do know that he's not afraid to do it if guys are coming in on him. Bradley may also just be saying they're trying to avoid the head clashes to get people to stop talking about it. His style has worked so far.
Bradley also notes that Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO) is no angel in this regard, and often leads with his own head:
"Go back and review Manny Pacquiao's last three, four fights," Bradley said. "This guy comes in reckless with his head, too, all right guys? You can't shy away from that. He storms in, lowers his head and he attacks."
Frankly, it seems almost impossible to get through this fight without the heads clashing a few times. It doesn't even have to be because someone's trying to make that happen. It's southpaw vs orthodox fighter, and head clash likelihood increases just because of that.
Take into account that both -- yes, both, Bradley is right -- of them have a habit of getting reckless with their domes, and you're almost surely going to see some butts in this one. It's probably unavoidable. The only thing you can hope is none of them opens a serious cut that ends the fight prematurely.