By Chris Robinson
During his 11 AM training session in Indio, California, his second workout of the day, undefeated junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley’s energy and bravado were at a full tilt. Of course, that would be expected given the importance Bradley’s latest challenge, an upcoming June 9th date with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bradley may be an underdog but you wouldn’t sense it with all of the talk coming from the 28-year old these days, as he fully believes he has the recipe to derail his Filipino rival in six weeks’ time. The dialogue was hot and heavy amidst Bradley’s regimen today, as his team could be heard cheering him on in a sign of support while dropping various sound bites ranging from how Pacquiao is overrated as a fighter to their vast belief in their man’s abilities to get the job done.
After his workout had concluded, and mind you it was a little hard taking in every word given how animated Bradley was, the young champion even dropped a couple salvos directed at Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who recently left Manny’s camp in Baguio City in the Philippines to join another one of his high-profile fighters, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in Mexico to assist him in training.
Ariza’s early departure from Pacquiao’s camp has been the topic of discussion lately, as there are those who feel he is showing more allegiance to Chavez, the reigning WBC middleweight champion, for financial reasons more than anything else. Still lively and bouncing on his feet after his workout, Bradley too weighed in with his thoughts, stating something along the lines that Ariza was leaving camp early because he didn’t want to be in a position where he had to come up with excuses for why Pacquiao is going to look so lackluster against him during their fight.
Struck by Bradley’s comments, I followed up with him during a one on one interview moments later and asked if he could clarify his statement.
“Ariza knows what Pacquiao is up against,” Bradley would state. “He got a chance to see me at the press conference. He got a chance to see my father, he got a chance to see how hungry I am and how in shape I am and how strong I am. I’m very physically strong I have very good boxing ability as well. I know how to fight on the inside as well. I bring a lot to the table. Alex Ariza, he knows that.”
Bradley then gave his opinion on Ariza’s exit from camp, and noted that it simply seems odd to leave one of the sport’s biggest stars hanging regardless of the situation.
“I don’t believe everything I read or whatever, but I guess Chavez Jr. offered him more money to leave,” Bradley continued. “But you’re leaving Manny Pacquiao bro. I think it’s something a lot deeper than that.”
Taking a guess as to what exactly might have went down, Bradley simply feels that Pacquiao and Ariza obviously didn’t see eye to eye on how things were going to be executed during their recent stint together.
“I feel that Alex Ariza knows what we’re bringing to the table,” Bradley claimed. “I’ve been working for a while now and he knows that [Pacquiao] is only giving him six to eight weeks of work and he would need a little bit more time to get him in prime-time shape. And I don’t think Pacquiao was willing to give him that. I think that Pacquiao, what he did in the last couple of training camps, he’s probably over-trained and I think he’s just trying to find a happy medium so he can feel good in this fight.”