The World of Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley

bradley points at beltOne of the best kept secrets in prizefighting has been the army of desert fighters that practice their art of war in the dry landscape of the Palm Springs greater area.

Decades have passed with few unaware of the growth taking place in sand blown towns like Indio, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and further reaches like Blythe.

That’s all going to end.

A media blitz is taking place on the sweltering desert confine where Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) trains on a daily basis. His fight with Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) on June 9 in Las Vegas has prompted world-wide interest.

No longer will the area remain a secret.

Bradley has been one of those who began fighting on the streets of Indio and later enticed to the fighting arts of amateur boxing. He quickly rose through the ranks in the area where hundreds of boys partake of boxing as readily as those joining Little League Baseball or Pop Warner Football. It’s a rite of passage in the desert.

Since the 1980s fighters like Paul Banke, Ysaias Zamudio, Pancho Segura and Joel Diaz began exposing the world to their aggressive brand of prizefighting. Not coincidentally, Diaz is now a trainer and coaches the undefeated junior welterweight world champion Bradley.

Diaz fought for the world title in the late 90s against South Africa’s Phillip Holiday for the lightweight world title. The elder brother of former world champions Antonio and Julio Diaz knows a thing or two about world class prizefighting. He’s passing it on to his current protégé Bradley.

One thing concerns Diaz and it’s an aspect that very few prizefighters experience: the mega fight.

“I worry about distractions,” said Joel Diaz, who trains Bradley in Indio.

Pound for Pound match up

Bradley, 28, is considered one of the best fighters pound for pound and will meet the boxer many consider among the top one or two in the world.

“It’s too early to start training,” said Bradley who arrived in the Indio gym to be filmed and photographed for HBO’s publicity junkets. “Right now I’m just working on cutting my weight, eating the right foods.”

Recently a small cadre of television cameramen, reporters and photographers arrived in the usually quiet boxing gym where not only Bradley trains, but other prizefighters like Vicente Escobedo, Omar Figueroa, Cub Swanson and several others can be seen going through their regular boxing drills. That distinctive sound of speed bags fluttering while boxers spar each other in the boxing ring are staples of the busy gym. Few media types ever set foot in the gym except for reporters from the two daily newspapers.

Not anymore.

HBO’s camera crew will be followed by promoter Top Rank’s own group and they will be followed by crews from all over the country and around the world. It’s of international notice whenever Pacquiao fights.

Bradley is considered by many the undisputed junior welterweight world champion and though he no longer holds those belts he captured, such as the WBC and WBO, no one was able to hand him a defeat. So now he’s moving into the 147-pound welterweight limit and Diaz along with Bradley’s father and uncle are primed to assist in the new weight division.    

“The fight itself, I’m not worried about,” said Diaz who has guided Bradley to an undefeated record since the Palm Springs boxer became a professional. “I’m comfortable with Timothy’s abilities.”

It’s the extraneous activities going around that worry the trainer Diaz who also fought in world title bouts when he was a boxer.


Pacquiao has fought in numerous mega fights where the entire world was watching and is more than comfortable with the hoards of photographers flashing cameras at his every movement. It’s all second nature to the Filipino superstar who has been partaking in these momentous fights since 2004 when he fought Juan Manuel Marquez to a draw in Las Vegas.

“It’s going to be a good fight because Timothy Bradley is a strong fighter and he likes to fight toe to toe,” said Pacquiao, 33, while at a recent Los Angeles press conference.

Pacquiao is a prohibitive favorite. Though Bradley has never been defeated and has versatility that few other prizefighters possess, the fighter known as “Pacman” has experienced the busy schedules, constant requests and pressure of training for elite level championship fights before millions of viewers.

One thing in Bradley’s favor is his youth and who knows when Pacquiao will slow down.

“We learned a lot watching that fight,” said Diaz, adding that an HBO series featuring Freddie Roach also provided valuable insight. “Thank you Freddie Roach.”

Bradley and his team are already in sync for the welterweight showdown though it’s still three months away.

“He knows the game plan,” said Bradley about Pacquiao. “I’m going to come straight to him. This ain’t no game.”

Not only will the world discover Bradley’s desert habitat, it will also become acquainted with the desert region and its many prizefighters.

The desert has more to it than heat.

Fights on television

Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Robert Garcia (30-3) vs. Antwone Smith (21-3-1).

Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Diego Magdaleno (21-0) vs. Miguel Beltran Jr. (26-1).

Sat. NBC Sports Network, 6 p.m., Zab Judah (41-7) vs. Vernon Paris (26-0).

Sat. HBO, 7 p.m., Erik Morales (52-7) vs. Danny Garcia (22-0).

Comment on this article


-Radam G :

The world of Tim Bradley is a distorted one. Da Manny is going to whup his butt. Joel Diaz is full of ____ ___ or maybe he is insane in da membrane. YUP! RIGHT! Dat muthasucka better be worried about this fight. Because Da Manny is going to kayo his protege with a left and/or right. Forget about Bradley's big, ole head. In this bout, it will have no edge. Da Manny is going to hook dat desert sucka in the torso and then go upside his cranium with the Pinoy-created famous punch known as the bolo. And down the "Desert Storm" will go. You KNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! It will be like slow-mo. Holla!

-deepwater :

Bradleys big head is a big target. Hope Pacmans heart is still in it after g-d told him to retire. wish it was mayweather before he steps out of the game.

-amayseng :

unlike floyd fighting a ruined, past primed, war torn cotto, this is a LEGIT fight... and yes ali, i am picking on floyd because i expect more out of one of the best of this era.... bradley is a warrior, he brings it, constant pressure, young fast and strong he is a good fighter... pacs speed and angles will be the difference, i see a right hook ending it for bradley in the late rounds... either way, bradley will pick up more respect for bringing it and putting on a good show... floyd will boringly pick cotto apart until cotto retreats on his stool after 10 rounds due to age and physical debilitation from all his wars and concrete thanks to margs....

-Radam G :

Wow! Just like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I guess analysises about the "theatre of the unexpected" are too. Firstly! Miguel Cotto is more like a trogan horse. And Money May knows it. This is why he is training seriously. Secondly! I'm reminded of how many "ruined, past primed, war torn" pugilists got their trogan-horse butt kicking on. GOAT Ali against Big George Foreman. Roberto Duran against Davey Moore and Iran Barkley. Big George Foreman against the "Double M Man" Michael "Master of Mistery" Moorer. Doc Vitali K against Samuel "The [Nigerian Buffet Fatty -- I mean] Night" Peters. And of course, the oldest cat to ever win a main-stay world title belt, Bernard "B-Hop" Hopkins against Pascal, just to name a few. Money May is going to be in a fight. For a minute, anyway. But Gazoo -- I mean Tim Bradley -- is going to try to run like Bambi until Da Manny catch his scary arse and put it to sleep. I'll say in about four rounds or so. Holla!

-Radam G :

Da Manny is not having any of that Gazoo billygoat magic. For Tim Bradley, trying to cranium coldcock Da Manny, is going to end in a firestorm tragic. For the bout not to end quick [sic]. The "Desert Storm" smallshot with the trick-of-the-trade BIG dome-to-the-mug weapon has to be one superfast running d**k. Oh, YUP! He'll probably get on his roadrunner mixed with some Bambi. But Da Manny is going to track him down and cause his feet to become Shane Mosley-type of bloody and sore. TB will be ready to go and/or quit in round four. TB's trainer Joel Diaz is no Genie Naazim. Diaz can help his charge as much as he can help "Lil" Kim. NOT AT ALL! Diaz's noggin-to-your-mug protege will fall. But I'd not be to surprised if Miguel Cotto against Money May wins it all. Holla!

-ali :

Cotto is a much better fighter then Bradley....Pac should have no problem beating him if he does then he has slip more then I thought ....on the other hand Mayweather is moving up to fight a guy who 4yrs younger and has only lost to cheaters 1 who had bricks in his gloves and the other one had steroids in his body (possibly) and made him come way down to 145 to fight my eyes he's still undefeated and somebody 0 has gots to go...this will be a much better fight watch then Pac vs Bradley.

-Radam G :

The only fighter with steriods in his body is Money May. In Sin City, the corrupted boxing commission is allowing the types that Money May uses. This is why Money May only fights in Las Vegas. [What happens in Vegas, (really) stays in Vegas for Money May.] Just about all the other states and the whole world won't put up with his reality distortion and make-believe actuality syet. So just keep riding his nuts, SCLA Ali. You got your rodeo on Fam Mayweather nuts. Hehehe! Ride 'em, babbeeeeee, ride 'em! Holla!

-brownsugar :

Bradly can make a good account of himself if he just obeys the 1st rule of "Manny Bustin", #1.) Keep that lateral movement going,... maintain distance,.... and leap on Manny like a cheap coat exterior primer when ever the legendary 8 time champions' back hits the ropes. ....Keep the chin tucked and that guard high... after a few rounds of that, OL' Bradly can let the hands fly. ...As Manny's head sits apon his shoulders like a big OL bullseye. Sorry if I offended any of Manny's fans', some times a little crude poetry can soothe the soul. In contrast to what our esteemed colleague Amaseng says,.. Cotto is not done,.. his sense of pride and self esteem is at an all time high, and his technical skill has never been better. Some fighters age like banana's,... you can smell em' after they're a week old and some boxers age like the finest wines,... Cotto is of that ilk. Don't count him out untill the fat lady sings. This will be the best Mayweather you'll ever see.

-amayseng :

the mayweather against jmm was quite ridiculous brownsugar... his athletic ability and coordination at 147 was phenomenal. the only thing lacking was starching punching power... but floyd is a surgeon, his is precise and quick with his shots... he was a bit off against ortiz, footwork is not the same anymore and he was whiffing and missing punches unlike i have seen. and he knows it, that is why he is fighting urgently, he knows the clock is ticking and that is why he is training he always has, but with such focus...he knew he felt differently against ortiz, the agility is slowing. however, cotto, who is a warrior and who i have cheered for for years, is no longer the same man. although younger than floyd, his body has deteriorated much for his age. floyds has a bit but not as much as cottos thanks to margacheatos concrete, he has not been the same since... add in a beating, a serious thrashing from pac and cotto is no longer a threat. cotto is game, but i will be surprised to see him win 2 of 12 rounds, in fact i think he retires on his stool in the tenth, due to exhaustion and added straight rights..

-ali :

Amayseng u made some great points but I disagree with u on Cotto not being the B-Sug said he's gotten better over time...his career reminds me alot a Marco Antonio he started off as a banger and evolved in to a very good he can beat Mayweather like Barrera beat Naseem it could make him a all-time great.

-Radam G :

Neither Cotto nor Money May is the same man they were a while ago. Money May talks a mean game and has a whole lot of hoodlums, hoodboys, hoodscribes, haters and a few fanboys, flunkies and fanfaronades behind him. And, of course, his boys. I'm one. But I'm all about TELLING THE TRUTH and the WHOLE TRUTH. Cotto will give Money May a challenge. PERIOD! END of DISCUSSION. And, as far as Gazoo -- I mean Tim Bradley -- giving Da Manny a challenge. NOT! TB's best chance is to run like a Bambi bytch or a roadrunner coward until he is caught. Fantasy fighting about lateral movement and keeping the distance against Da Manny are for those who live in their small mudholes of reality distortion and make-believe actuality. Holla!

-MisterLee :

Bradley should win by UD, Pacquiao will win by robbery. Bradley has one of the best Ring IQ's between 140-154. Bradley will outsmart him, work the body, and eventually will pepper him with counters and combinations. I put some crow on the line! I will serve crow on June 10th! That's a promise!

-Radam G :

There goes that RACIST-ARSE IQ BULLSYET again! You muthaknow nothings oughta quit and learn to use the correct language to be covert with your jive-time Pac-and-Pinoy hating. OKAY! WTF! Here goes school. Not that you will learn syet. Because a knuckleheaded, undercovered ____ _____ _____ have that biasness and latent bigotry in him until the day that he takes his last breath and relieve the whole of his stupid ______. A couple of self-proclaimed "Boys-in-The-Hood Hoodologists" schooled me to your Pac/Pinoy-haters' trying-to-be-smart confusion. What you muthasuckas and mudhole suckas mean is ring savvy -- "practical know-how -- not ring IQ ["a number used to express the apparent relative intelligence of a person determined by dividing his mental age as reported on a standardized test by his chronological age and multiplying by 100.) What da double fudge!!! Just grow up and quit trying to be cute with subtle beliefs of the late gambling man Jimmy "The Greek." Learn the ______ what an IQ is! This IQ jive-turkey _____ has gone too ____ far! Stop it, ALREADY! But you won't! Because you are shallow like that. Now in collegiate boxing -- which is not widespread nowadays -- mutha pugilists have some type of ring IQ jive that you can holla about, because they take/took written tests, including "Ring IQ" ones. Maybe TSS boxing-history arch-investigative and righteous archmaster weaving scribe S-To can adroitly, masterfully spit some copy about the last great professional pugilistic anything who was also a collegiate boxing superstar. One who immediately comes to my very humble mind is: "LET'S GET IT ON!" -- HOF referee great Mills Lane. He would shut up all you _____ _____ ___ and _____ suckas with some mean "RING IQ" syet in a Sin City SLAP. Because he earned the real deal, not from the school of hard knots and making up syet in cyberspace, but from a legit, accredit college and by doing every occupation of the hurt business. SO, AGAIN! Just halt aready the pugilistic bell curve jive up in here. Holla!

-OneTonMan :

Bradley is a thinking fighter. He uses his head. Rather, Bradley is a stinking fighter.

-brownsugar :

Yes,... we saw Floyd lose a few percentage points on the accuracy meter against Ortiz. but who has ever handled the man-child Ortiz with such ease?...and I saw Floyd getting popped with good shots and pretending it didn't hurt...........all this is after he dismantled Berto like he was a journeyman. if age brings out more violence and risk in Mayweathers game then I'm all for it... thanks for sharing Amaseng... you are truly a beast when it comes to critiquing the Money man.

-Shoulder Roll Defense :

My boy Radam G predicted that Victor Ortiz would defeat Floyd Mayweather, so I don't think I'm too far out of line when I predict that Bradley will win a split decision or lose by split decision. However, I would bet the house on on Bradley if I was a gambling man because he has the skills and confidence to beat Manny. He showed me a lot when he got off the canvas to dominate Kendal Holt.

-amayseng :

appreciate it brownsugar... im watching fight night on nbc sports right now...jennings has some skill and ability... maybe with the proper elite trainer he can develop as an american hw...

-Radam G :

Wow! What is up with the fibbing, B-Sug? I never -- and I mean -- NEVER predicted that Vicious Victor Ortiz or anybody else but Da Manny was going to "defeat Floyd Mayweather." NOT YOU or anybody else will find such gabbage in any of my nearly 2,000 posts. OMFG! There much be some type of negative energy in cyberspace and/or the TSS Universe that make a lot of dudes and their groupie mates try to lie on all type of bullsh*t on Pinoys. You muthasuckas be dropping words out of my English spit, and maybe that is why you come up with such super-dumb sh*t. Pull up any one of my posts where I ever predicted that anybody, or Da Manny would beat Money May. Your mind is playing tricks on you. This is what ___ ____ ____ will do to a hater. I know that you have heard about the hate that produce hate. Well, for me, that turkey jive is too late. You oughta stop it already, B-Sug, because any educated person in this Universe with a fair-minded brain knows that I don't go against Money May winning, except if he ever gain enough courage and step into that squared jungle with Da Manny. Then the wild cry of the Buffalo Soldier will go down in the spirit of Money May. Now, B-Sug, you can get the few nitwits and dimwits to side with your nonsense, but nobody else will. Just read my every single post, and don't try that dropping out the prepositional phrases bullspit and super bullsh*t! Because the smart readers know the difference from "Vicious Victor may beat Money May," versus "Vicious Victor will beat Money May." To satisfy to your urge to create problems, let me say that Miguel Cotto may KAYO Money May in the first round with a vicious head butt -- I mean head shot. Now if you don't understand that, you will start fibbing that I said that MC was going to kayo Money May. But brainy cats here will dismiss your bullspit, nonetheless those groupie mates of yours will have your fibbing back. But it is all good. Some people just have to have it their way, or they are not happy. I'm all about the straight-up TRUTH 100 percent of the time. And you can take that to the BANK! Holla!

-Radam G :

My bad, B-Sug! That last post was for Shoulder Roll Defense. He is one of your groupie mates who spits remarkably like you. If I didn't read the pseudonym, I would swear on a stage of ___ ____ ____ that he is you. I'm willing to bet that he and you were educated from the same type of schooling and are of very similar backgrounds. Holla!

-Radam G :

Anyway, SRD, you are full of ____! Holla!

-Radam G :

@SRD, you really need to quit calling out these lies on me. Wishy-washy readers like SCLA Ali, Money Jay, B and sometimes even very strong-minded B-Sug listen to bulljive without checking the fact and then jump all up in my grill with some of your imaginary bullsh*tology. It is no doubt that you have a leader personality -- though with disorders. Wow, man! C'mon, you fib not because it is in your interest but is in your nature and culture. I've seem your type tons of time. They always lie on da fly and try to become the apple of somebody's eye. Just look what you started by using the racialized, charged-up term of "ring IQ" for black fighters, including Money May. I know that you meant ring savvy, but some of the weak-minded, impressable readers, who I named above, and some that I didn't, took that term and went crazy wacko with it. Now you are smart enough to know that when you manufacture terms and maxims to hide behind the late gambler/sports commentator Jimmy the Greek's beliefs of "African Americans having innate athletic racial superiority" over all other humans that small, bias, already hating minds are going to go on a wilding spree. Wow! Your ___ ___ ____ will make mudholed muthasuckas, already full of hatred, fictionalize all type of apocryphal jive-wolf spit without a scintilla of shame. Don't be doing that syet, man. Just check the posts before you start up on me. I'd appreciate it. Holla!