Thursday, February 9, 2012

Manny Pacquiao's trainer already throwing verbal jabs, calling Tim Bradley dirty fighter

source: Leighton Ginn |

CATHEDRAL CITY — The contracts haven't been signed, but it looks like Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach is already working the referee and judges through the media, labeling Cathedral City's Timothy Bradley as a dirty fighter.

The fight between Bradley (28-0) and Pacquiao (54-3-2) will be June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, although contracts haven't been signed yet. Both Bradley and Pacquiao already have agreed to fight, and Bradley said nothing holding up the contract signings will stop the fight from happening.

Considered the best trainer in boxing, Roach was quoted in several Internet reports as calling Bradley a dirty fighter who uses his head and elbows.

Bradley sounded amused by the early talk.

“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.”

One of Pacquiao's managers also brought up the head butts from Bradley last week, saying it was a concern, particularly after Pacquiao's last fight. In his victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao suffered a huge cut over his eye that required 26 stitches.

Bradley has a reputation with head butts after his fight against Nate Campbell was declared a no contest, and his fight against Devon Alexander was stopped in the 10th round when Alexander said he couldn't continue after a head butt. Bradley was not deducted a point for a head butt in either of those bouts.

Because Bradley is a righty and Pacquiao is a lefty, head butts are common as aggressive fighters come in to engage.

“The head butt situation, I don't do it intentionally,” Bradley said. “I will say this, they say I come in with my head, Manny comes in with his head as well. I watched many of his tapes. I've seen this guy, he's a great fighter, best in the world, and he does it. He comes in with his head as well.

“Freddie just has to worry about Manny Pacquiao. All the talk, whatever. It just sounds like he's worried. It sounds like he's a little worried.”

Bradley is an established three-time world champion in the light welterweight division and has been ranked as one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters (top boxers regardless of weight class) for nearly two years.

But Bradley will move up in weight class, from 140 to 147, to contend for Pacquiao's welterweight belt. Despite Bradley going up in weight, he could very well be the bigger fighter when the two fight June 9.

Both Bradley and Pacquiao are listed at 5-foot-6, so it will be a change for Bradley to fight someone he sees eye-to-eye.

he spent a large part of his amateur career fighting at 147, and then moved up to 152 when he tried to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. When Pacquiao turned pro, he fought at 107 pounds.

The heaviest weight at which Pacquiao has ever fought was 145¾. Bradley fought at 147 in 2010.

“A lot of people think I'm the smaller guy, that I'm the little guy,” Bradley said. “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. I'm a naturally bigger guy even though I fought at 140 and he fought at 147.

“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'm used to fighting guys 6-0, 5-10. So the whole power thing of me being the little guy, you can throw that out the window. That won't be the case during the fight.”