By Jake Donovan
Tim Bradley has certainly had his say throughout the promotion of Saturday’s HBO pay-per-view headlining welterweight title defense versus former four-division champ Juan Manuel Marquez. Much of his concern has centered around the level of drug testing—everything from which organization gets to administer such tests to the starting point at which they were supposed to be conducted.
The sculpted welterweight–unbeaten as a pro and championship tours in two weight classes–is a proud man who did all he could to stick to his guns. Eventually, he settled for the amount of cooperation his opponent was willing to offer, for the sake of preserving the hefty payday that comes with Saturday’s affair.
Further softening the reigning titlist is the fancy digs he gets to enjoy while counting down the days and eventually the hours until it’s time to ply his trade at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“I got to thank Steve Wynn. My suite is amazing,” Bradley quipped during Wednesday’s press conference in Las Vegas. “I’m like MGM what? The Wynn is where it’s at.”
Bradley’s last fight in Vegas took place at the MGM Grand, where he managed a controversial points win over Manny Pacquiao. Top Rank has staged just one other event at the venue since then–Pacquiao’s knockout loss to Marquez last December.
Saturday’s bout marks just the second time Bradley will have fought since his win over Pacquiao. His lone other ring appearance during that stretch is the leading candidate for Fight of the Year, surviving a hellacious opening round assault, a 12th round knockdown and fighting through a concussion to outpoint Ruslan Provodnikov this past March in Carson, California.
With plenty of time allotted to heal, train and prepare for one of the biggest fights of his career, Bradley is now in fight mode for this weekend. That is to say, he’s all smiles and as calm as an assassin as he awaits fight night.
“I always call fight night, fun time. I can’t wait. It’s time to have fun,” Bradley insists.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.
Twitter: @JakeNDaBoxTags: Timothy Bradley