Los Angeles — Tim Bradley feels a victory over Manny Pacquiao next week in Las Vegas will be the crowning glory of his exemplary career and that whatever comes after it would just be extra.
“This is a fight that I truly care about,” Bradley told reporters Thursday at the Fortune Gym on Sunset Boulevard nine days before he and Pacquiao rumble for the second time before an expected sellout crowd at the MGM Grand.
For Bradley the fight is so important he may even quit should he beat Pacquiao.
“This is a must-win fight for me. After I beat Manny (next week), (the rest) will just be gravy for me,” said Bradley, 30, who was awarded a controversial split decision over Pacquiao in June 2012.
Bradley feels getting the job done isn’t as remote as pro-Pacquiao fans tend to believe, hinting that he might not even need the help of the three judges at ringside to pull it off.
“I honestly think that this fight will not go the distance,” said Bradley.
Bradley claims to have solved the Pacquiao puzzle the first time they met and because he has gained experience and built up his confidence in the process, he will be a much tougher assignment for the 35-year-old fighting congressman.
“The only way for him to beat me is to knock me out.”
However, Bradley insists that despite his reputation as a light hitter, he can actually do real damage.
“Once he gets hit (again), he might have a relapse,” said Bradley, obviously citing the sixth-round smackdown that Juan Manuel Marquez dealt the Filipino in late-2012.
Besides, Pacquiao wasn’t really that tested when he staged his comeback bout last November in Macau against Brandon Rios, the robotic puncher who didn’t even get the chance to mess up Pacquiao’s hair-do.
Backed by what he labeled as “eight weeks of solid training,” Bradley said he can’t wait to answer the bell and show everyone he is not an ordinary fighter.
“I’ve been ready (to fight) since last week. I am ready.”
While Marquez has a mighty right hand, the punch that sent Pacquiao to dreamland, Bradley says he has his own version of a finisher.
“I’ve got my left hook,” he said.
But Bradley remains wary of what Pacquiao can still bring to the ring.
“He comes with intensity and you just can’t go in there and do what you want to do.”
Again, Bradley isn’t too sure if it will go the full route. (Nick Giongco)