photo by Chris Farina-Top Rank
INDIO-Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley walked into the gym with a scrunched tightness of his mouth and narrow looking eyes as he glided through a throng of photographers, reporters and well-wishers on Thursday.
If you had seen Bradley two months ago it was a Jekyll and Hyde difference. The junior welterweight from Palm Springs was amiable, smiling and chatting without a care in the world back in March.
That’s all changed now.
A steely-eyed Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) sat on a bench with dozens of reporters anxious to talk about his coming encounter with Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) on Saturday June 9, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. HBO pay-per-view will televise the Top Rank event.
Bradley has that angry hungry look.
Both Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Bradley were present at the Indio Boys and Girls Club where the popular local fighter trains regularly. On their agenda was the cause and effects of the super showdown with Pacquiao and both talked briefly about the current drug testing that has derailed three fights in the past month including mixed martial arts heavyweight Alistair Overeem, boxing junior welterweight Lamont Peterson and welterweight Andre Berto.
“I’m just like wow, you got to be more careful to know what you’re taking,” said Bradley about the rash of canceled high profile bouts. “I think fighters need to research, do their homework.”
Bradley believes both boxers suffered from lack of education regarding Performance Enhancement Drugs or PEDs.
“Lamont’s situation was a life or death situation…he needed testosterone. The fact that he waited hurt him, but he’s not the type of guy that would cheat, that’s not his MO. He trains hard. Just like Andre Berto,” said Bradley, 28. “(Berto) just got a bad batch and he had residue. It was enough to just cause a bad test. That can happen to anybody.”
Arum said that independent companies like United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) or Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) are still a step short of becoming viable drug testing companies.
“I just think that people are totally going about this in the wrong way. You can’t have those groups whether USADA or VADA do this testing unless it’s under the supervision of the Nevada State Commission or the California Commission. These groups don’t have any authority. Who knows whether they test the same?” said Arum about the failed tests that derailed both Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto’s separate fights. “I like testing. I think it’s important, but it has to be under the supervision under the legal supervision like Nevada. Maybe Berto, if tested under supervision by USADA he would have passed. There has to be one standard. Every sample has got to go right to the commission not to the promoter.”
Nevada State Athletic Commission will do the testing for this mega event.
How big is the event for Bradley?
“Now I can’t even run on the streets any more, it’s tough for me. I also got to get my work in,” said Bradley about the increase recognition on the streets. “No (Pontiac) Silverdome for me baby. This is a big show in front of one of the baddest guys in boxing.”
When asked if he worried that it might be difficult to win a decision against Pacquiao who managed to beat Juan Manuel Marquez in a fight that many fans had scored differently from the judges, Bradley was adamant about being not concerned with judging.
“This is boxing. I can’t be worried about the judges. The fight fans know who won at the end of the night,” said Bradley. “I know I’m going to get the decision if I win.”
The Palm Springs prizefighter has never been beaten and does not expect defeat.
“I know he’s going to be ready. He’s ready to take me out,” said Bradley about Pacquiao. “We’re ready for anything. We’re ready for every aspect of the game.”