WEST HOLLYWOOD-Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley traveled more than 150 miles to West Hollywood to meet the press at Justin Fortune’s gym on Sunset Boulevard on Thursday. Also at the media day was fast-rising prospect Oscar Valdez.
Both are desert fighters; one from the Palm Desert another from the Sonora Desert.
Bradley’s one of the best fighters pound for pound and Valdez may be one of the best prospects in prizefighting. Next Saturday, June 27, at the StubHub Center, both will be looking to prove that point on the Top Rank card. HBO will televise.
It’s high noon for both Top Rank fighters with less than eight days till fight day.
Valdez represented Mexico in the last Olympics and the transition to professional prizefighting seems seamless. But the young confident boxer with roots to Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico says the journey has been a learning experience.
“My amateur career and the Olympics was my most memorable experience in boxing,” said Valdez while in West Hollywood for media day. “I felt as an amateur I had a pro style. Now as a pro I still have a lot of things to learn in the gym.”
Watching Valdez perform in the boxing ring with his passive-aggressive style hints at Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez. And it’s no accident. As a child he spent hours and hours looking at old fight tapes of the Culiacan buzz saw.
“When I was growing up my dad was always putting up videos of his fights and Roberto Duran,” said Valdez. “I always tried to learn something good from them. Always.”
Valdez (15-0, 14 KOs) faces super tough Ruben Tamayo (25-5, 17 KOs) of Mexico who defeated Efrain Esquivias a year ago but was stopped by Jesus Cuellar in pursuit of the WBA interim featherweight title last December.
“He’s a good solid fighter,” said Valdez of Tamayo. “I can’t take him lightly.”
Valdez seeks to become a prizefighter who fights anyone.
“There are a lot of guys that do cherry-picking,” said Valdez. “I want to fight anyone. I want to bring up the old school fighting. I’ll prove that I’m not scared to take a loss, as long as I fight the best.”
So far he’s drilled through 15 opponents with precision that would make a sniper proud.
“I visualize myself being a world champion,” he said. “Hopefully that day comes soon.”
Bradley was once the WBO welterweight world champion but lost to Manny Pacquiao by decision. He wants it back. Badly.
Bradley knows former WBA junior welterweight titlist Jessie Vargas stands in his way. The Las Vegas prizefighter has never been defeated and many expect a dogfight when they meet on Saturday June 27.
“I hope he’s in my face and I hope he’s aggressive,” said Bradley. “That favors me.”
The Palm desert fighter only has one loss on his ledger despite encountering some of the best prizefighters in the world between 140 and 147 pounds. He’s fought them all, except for Floyd Mayweather. But that’s not something that he has control over. Vargas is next on his list.
“I’m an extremist. If I’m going to drink, I’m going to drink until I fall down,” said Bradley, emphasizing that he does everything, including training, to the extreme. “I’ve always been like that. But I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, but I love to eat.”
Bradley hints that he may soon be retiring. But as of now, he’s working full throttle on regaining the WBO world title and shooting to the top. Vargas is the road block.
“Jessie Vargas is no joke,” said Bradley. “But I’m going to bring it.”