WBO Welterweight Champion Tim Bradley took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us and discuss his title defense against Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16 live on HBO beginning at 10:15pm ET/PT. He also talks about his future in boxing, Manny Pacquiao, and PEDs in boxing.
BSO: You’re set to defend your WBO Welterweight title in a few days, how does your training vary for a fight at Welter as opposed to junior welter?
Bradley: You definitely have to be filled out, it’s a seven pound jump. You also have to get your strength training going a couple days in the week and in the off season as well. Besides that it’s not too much different, (I’m) just eating a lot more.
BSO: Going into this fight what would you consider a victory? Is your goal to fight a particular way or perhaps aim for a KO?
Bradley: I’m just going to stay true to myself. I have a style and it’s gotten me into this position that I’m in, so I’m not going to do anything different. I’ve been working a lot in camp on my technique. Just trying to sit back on my punches and try to get these guys out of here. If I can land a clean punch I think I can definitely hurt this guy (Provodnikov) and I’ll go for the kill then.
BSO: Stylistically how do you think you match up with Provodnikov? Do you think that you have an advantage?
Bradley: I think that I have an advantage going into this fight. I’ve seen some film on Provodnikov and he has some amateur experience which means he has experience with different styles. He’s crafty, he’s not a dumb fighter, he’s pretty intelligent. He likes to bang and I’m going to use his aggression against him.
BSO: Looking forward a bit, do you see yourself fighting junior welterweight again in the future?
Bradley: At the moment I’m not even sure, I don’t think that I’m going to fight Junior Welterweight ever again but there’s always a possibility. Most of the big name fighters right now are above 140 (lbs) so right now 147 is the perfect weight for me.
BSO: Amir Khan looked good in his last fight, would you consider giving him a shot in the future?
Bradley: I’m willing to face anybody. It’s definitely a fight that would be a thrilling for the fans, but I don’t need to chase anyone. I’m the man, Four time world champ, I’ve paid my dues. There’s always fights out there that can be made, it just has to be on the right terms and the right timing.
BSO: Would you be open for a rematch w/ Manny Pacquiao?
Bradley: Yeah absolutely, I wanted a rematch after the fight. We were supposed to do it when he fought Marquez; he had other plans and decided not to fight me for whatever reason.
BSO: Would his losses deter you from fighting him in anyway?
Bradley: No not at all.
BSO: Does your undefeated record make you more conscious of the opponents that you pick? Is it a deterrent in anyway?
Bradley: No, No absolutely not. Of course I want to stay undefeated but as far as picking fights I’m willing to face anybody man. You have a lot of different promoters in this game and a lot of different fighters. Everybody knows what it is, why a lot of fights can’t be made. So I’m willing to fight anybody and the most important thing to me is to fight the best out there.
BSO: back to this weekends fight, you are regarded as one of the best boxers in the world but many people criticize your defensive style would you ever consider changing the way you fight to cash in on bigger purses?
Bradley: I don’t think that it effects fights being made. My style is my style whether people like it or not. It has me undefeated and until some one figures out my style I’m going to get better at it and perfect my style.
BSO: What would it mean to you to be ranked the ‘#1 P4P boxer in the world?
Bradley: That’s always the goal in mind. I want to be pound for pound top fighter in the world. What people have to realize is that I just want to fight the best. A lot of people may criticize me for fighting Ruslan Provodnikov but he’s the only guy that wanted to fight me; that was willing to fight me.
BSO: You’ve requested random drug testing for this fight… What made you take such a strong stance on testing?
Bradley: Floyd Mayweather (Jr.) started this a while back. I think every athlete should be tested, especially when you are at the top level of the game. I think it’s very important to know that you’re going into a fight and it’s fair. I think it’s a way of weeding out the fake and showing people that I’m clean. I think it’s edge to use performance enhancing drugs, I’m not using it so why should they? If a fighter doesn’t want to take the drug test then somethings up. There’s a lot of athletes out there that don’t want to take the drug test; then guess what you’re not fighting Tim Bradley.
BSO: Do you believe that Boxing is doing enough to combat PED use?
Bradley: I think that each commission should do multi-test, whether they use one organization or two that do all of the drug testing. They need to work with these people to make sure all of these athletes are safe and that it’s fair. Boxing is different than most sports out there. There’s a lot of different promoters and organizations and it’s hard to keep control of everything. There’s really no one looking out for all of the fighters. I think that the boxing commissions really need to get involved.
BSO: Last question, what will fans get when they tune into your fight this weekend? What should they look forward to?
Bradley: First off I’d like to thank all of my supporters out there and everyone who watches my fights. The fans that will get to see me will see an explosive, hungry, and determined effort to prove that I’m one of the best fighters in the world by getting rid of this guy on Saturday.
You can listen to more of the Tim Bradley interview with BSO below.