Bradley has plenty of experience
Story by Francisco Salazar
Photo by Big Joe Miranda
There is no need to remind Timothy Bradley of the “inexperience” factor. He has heard it all to often during his professional career.
Bradley hasn’t fought anybody.
When is he going to fight an actual contender?
Truth of the matter is, Bradley feels he has plenty of experience and talent to not only hang, but beat some of the best fighters today.
Bradley will fight in the biggest fight of his young professional career when he takes on fellow world champion Kendall Holt on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
The bout will headline a “SHOWTIME Championship Boxing” card, presented by Gary Shaw Productions, Top Rank, and Thompson Boxing Promotions.
The bout is a unification bout pitting Bradley’s 140-pound title with that of Holt’s world title belt.
Since making his professional debut in August of 2004, Bradley has steadily improved, adding a repertoire of combinations and defense to accompany his athleticism.
Bradley began his professional career fighting on club shows before catching the eye of promoter Gary Shaw. Working with original promoter, Thompson Boxing Promotions, Gary Shaw showcased Bradley on “ShoBox: the New Generation” three times.
It all culminated in May of last year, when Bradley went into Junior Witter’s backyard in Nottingham, England and won a world title. Bradley then made a voluntary defense in September against Edner Cherry, winning a 12 round unanimous decision.
For this fight, Bradley has been in the gym since January, but has had over six weeks of intense training. Like most fighters, Bradley is itching to step in the ring and get it on with Holt.
“This is the level of competition that I have wanted,” said Bradley, who hails from Palm Springs, Calif. “I’m ready to go. I’m glad I am fighting the best in the world. There is excitement and anxiousness, but I am ready to do my thing.”
And that thing is to take care of business against a hard-nose and talented fighter in Holt.
Holt has been in competitive and hotly-debated bouts in recent years. Holt had the two fights against Ricardo Torres in 2007 and later in 2008 that had boxing fans wanting more, especially after the round of the year drama that saw three knockdowns in the rematch.
While Holt walked out of the ring with a title around his waist, few thought that Holt would math up against Bradley. However, the Bradley-Holt bout was finalized when Holt defeated Demetrius Hopkins in December to retain the title.
Where Holt may have the edge with the caliber of opponents faced, something Holt has commented on previous weeks, Bradley is undeterred and is eager for the challenge ahead.
“I will show him that I am the better fighter,” said Bradley, who is engaged and is the father of two sons. “He feels that I am inexperienced, but I will show him that he is wrong. I will show the world that I belong with the best in the division.”
Bradley, who has spoken at schools through Southern California, feels that there are potentially great fights for him should he defeat Holt on Saturday night.
Much is being anticipated on the Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton bout to take place in about a month. Bradley understands that a victory could set up a potential bout with either fighter down the road.
“At 140 pounds, I feel that I am someone to be reckoned with. I know that I have to get past Holt in order to possibly pace Hatton or Pacquiao down the line.”
Bradley is so far living out his dream of being a world champion, something that might have been unforeseeable when he was in high school. Having personal problems in school that saw him almost drop out, Bradley wants the best for teenagers.
He makes it a point to be a strong role model and having had the ability to win a world title is something that he wants to promote with teenagers today.
“When I won the world title, it was an unbelievable moment for me. However, I never want to change. I feel that I am no different from anybody in this world. I want to stay humble and continue to work hard and improve my craft and get better. There is always room for improvement.”
“I just want those kids to know that if I could live out my dreams, so could they.”
Bradley has been able to fulfill and keep that dream going with the assistance of his original promoter, Ken Thompson and his Thompson Boxing Promotions. Later, Gary Shaw signed Bradley to a deal, allowing Bradley to fight for dual promoters.
He feels fortunate that his trainer, Joel Diaz, along with his father have worked well with all promoters.
“I have been fortunate to have worked with (Thompson Boxing Promotions matchmaker) Alex Camponovo. He and Ken Thompson are great people, humble people. With Gary (Shaw), he is loyal and very humble. Despite the wealth he has accumulated, he is very down to earth. I am truly blessed.”
At almost 26 years of age, Bradley is almost at the peak of his professional career. Despite his unbeaten record and world title, Bradley continues to work hard and does not take anything for granted.
From humble beginnings to where he is at now, Bradley’s life could be a made-for-movie event.
“I would love Will Smith to play me. He can do no wrong,” joked Bradley.
Even though Bradley may not convince everybody that he has the experience and belongs in the division, that is quite al right for the fighter who won the key to the city of Palm Springs. He won the key after his victory over Junior Witter.
“I understand that Holt may be the slight favorite going into this fight. That is fine by me. It just moves me and it motivates me to do very well. It makes me believe in myself. I appreciate the fans who are behind me. Come Saturday, history will be made.”
Sounds like someone who has the experience to pull this off.