By Osman Rodriguez
WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12KOs) is working on tactics to avoid the possibility of head clashes in his fight with Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38KOs), the WBO's champion at 147, scheduled for June 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Bradley has been criticized in the past for coming in with his head, but now he's working on throwing his punches before rushing in with the rest of his body. He understands that when an orthodox fighter is facing a fast southpaw head clashes are more likely to happen.
"We definitely have to take into consideration to limit the head butts. No one wants to see the fight end on a head butt and I don’t want to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the fans. They pay to see a show. They pay to see a fight, not a head butt clash. That’s not how you want it to happen. I have to take it into consideration to try to elude it. Just be smart, but it won’t take away from my game plan. I’m going to step inside, bang the body and apply the pressure. Against [Joel] Casamayor I was aware of the head butts and kept my head out of the mix," Bradley said.
Bradley also wants to avoid making the same mistakes as Juan Manuel Marquez. After watching Marquez's close decision loss to Pacquiao in their November 2011 trilogy fight, Bradley noticed how Marquez stuck to the same game plan and never made any adjustments to gain an advantage. Bradley is planning to arrive with several strategies.
"Marquez sat there and counter-punch and counter-punch but he didn’t get the decision. It didn’t seem like he wanted to win. If you want to win you’ve got to take it to the champion. You’ve got to grab your balls. If Marquez stepped up the last couple of rounds he could have won the fight. But he didn’t do that. He laid back and let Pacquiao control the tempo and the action and he didn’t and Pacquiao ended up winning those rounds," Bradley said.
" I know how to win and I know when I’m down how to pick it up. I just have to make adjustments in the ring and I know how to do that. We are working 50% on boxing and 50% on brawling – it depends on how Pacquiao comes out."