The welterweight title fight between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao might be three days away, but the challenger is already preparing for the rematch.
At Wednesday’s final press conference with the two fighters at the MGM Grand’s Hollywood Theatre, Bradley showed off super-sized copies of the fight poster and ticket -- with a few minor changes.
The altered versions listed the event as "Bradley-Pacquiao 2" (rather than "Pacquiao-Bradley") and the date as "November 10, 2012" (instead of "June 9, 2012"). This, of course, references the clause in the fight contract mandating an immediate rematch in the event of a Bradley upset.
"Training camp was hell," said Bradley, with a confidence belying the 3-to-1 odds against him, before repeating for emphasis. "I've never ever trained this hard in my whole life. I'm ready. I'm ready to shock the world. I'm ready to do whatever it takes in there to win this fight."
Bradley's theatrics Wednesday represented the closest instance of trash talk in the kind of gentlemanly promotion typical of a Pacquiao fight, and the Filipino puncher could only laugh with trainer Freddie Roach before taking the dais for his remarks.
"My training, it's amazing: it's heaven," he said, allowing a wry grin. "We did our best in training because Timothy Bradley is a hungry fighter. He's young. I know what he's feeling, [so] I trained like I was 26 years old."
The 33-year-old Pacquiao, motivated by a pair of lesser performances against Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2011, promised a crowd-pleasing affair between two fighters who aren't afraid to take risks.
Roach said Pacquiao is "really focused" as he prepares for the fourth defense of the WBO welterweight title he won from Miguel Cotto in November 2009.
"We got rid of a lot of distractions in his life, and got some new distractions that are much better," said Roach, the five-time Trainer of the Year who's worked with Pacquiao since 2001. "[We're] fighting a resilient, undefeated guy. I know it's going to be a tough fight, but Manny is 100 percent ready."
Afterward, Roach was less diplomatic about Bradley's showmanship.
"I just wonder how much money they wasted on those tickets," he said. "Seems foolish. We're going to kick his a--."
-- Bryan Armen Graham