By Edward Chaykovsky
WBO junior welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12KOs) has officially signed his contract to face Manny Pacquiao, the WBO's champion at 147-pounds, on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley is going to make around $5 million dollars for the fight, according to Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters.
Going into the fight, Bradley is a big underdog with a single pro welterweight fight on his record. Bradley has ended the unbeaten streaks of both Devon Alexander and Lamont Peterson, and he expects to become the first boxer since 2005 to defeat Pacquiao. Mexico's Erik Morales decisioned Pacquiao in 2005, but Pacquiao knocked Morales out in their next two meetings.
"He can be beat," Bradley said to the Los Angeles Times. "I just need to get in there and follow my game plan. I know his weaknesses, his favorite combinations. In my mind, I'm definitely going to win. I'll take it to this guy."
"It's harder for Pacquiao to land his shots now, and you even saw that in the [May 2011] Shane Mosley fight. Look, Marquez had Pacquiao's number, and Marquez is 38 and past his prime. Here they were making excuses after [Pacquiao conditioning coach Alex] Ariza had said before Marquez that even God himself couldn't beat Pacquiao. I'm younger, stronger and faster than Marquez."