The welterweight champion is ready to fight like it's his last shot at greatness.
With less than a week until he defends his welterweight title, undefeated boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. is calm, focused and confident.
His Las Vegas HBO Pay Per-View match against Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez on Oct. 12 marks his biggest fight since his 2012 controversial win over Manny Pacquiao. Bradley won in a split decision, ending Pacquiao's seven-year winning streak. Despite critics who say he did not deserve the title, this time around Bradley is not worried about proving himself.
“Whatever doesn’t kill you should make you stronger,” Bradley told BET.com. “You should be able to bounce back from it.”
Bouncing back has always been in the cards for Bradley, who was bussing tables and washing dishes in his hometown of Cathedral City, California, before becoming a professional boxer. Anticipating his comeback, he is adhering to a strict six day a week training schedule and vegan diet to prepare him for the fight that could change his 30-0 record.
“When I get ready for a fight, I train like there’s no tomorrow,” Bradley said. “I train like it’s my last fight, like it’s the last time I’m going to step foot in the ring…When you do that, you leave no room for error.”
Bradley made a name for himself in his first professional fight in 2004, with the second round knockout of Francisco Martinez. Over the course of his career, Bradley has remained one of the top ranked boxers in his weight class. However, he has expressed disappointment with the boxing industry for not giving him the credit he deserves.
“People laugh at me and I say I’m destined for greatness; as long as they’re against me, I’m going to continue to rise.” Bradley said. “Sooner or later, people are going to get it, they’re going to get tired of losing their money, tired of losing their bets. It only takes one fight to have a breakout moment.”
Now at 30 years old, Bradley is in his prime and his “break-out” moment could come on Saturday. He’s spent the last three months training and studying tapes of Marquez. Armed with the support of his trainers, fans; his wife, Monica Manzo; and his four children, Bradley is more prepared than ever.
“It’s going to definitely take some patience and some poise in that ring, and I’m definitely going to have to use every skill that I have to beat a guy like Marquez,” Bradley said.
The Bradley vs. Marquez fight goes down on Saturday, Oct. 12, live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
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(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)