Could Bradley’s drive for excellence be too much for Pacquiao to handle?
From his most potent punch to his ideal fighting weight, his birthdate to his net worth, Manny Pacquiao fans often know anything and everything about their favorite Filipino boxer. Yet despite a considerable amount of press coverage as Pacquiao's latest bout looms, boxing enthusiasts may still be unfamiliar with his opponent, Timothy Bradley, Jr. After reviewing his background, the undefeated 28-year-old could be Pacquiao's fiercest competitor yet.
For most of Bradley's life, he's devoted himself to the craft of boxing, as friends of his when he was younger propelled him to pursue it as a career goal.
"I had a friend in the sixth grade who was boxing," the WBO junior welterweight champion told HBO, which will air the Pay Per View event on June 9. "We used to play around, do some slap boxing. One day he said to me, 'You know you have really fast hands. You ought to come down to the gym and try boxing.'"
While it took Bradley a lot of convincing to get the go-ahead from his father, he eventually got his parents' permission.
With hours of training in the Palm Springs Boxing Club, Bradley's enthusiasm for boxing led to almost immediate success in his early matches. In 145 matches, he lost only 20 times, winning the U.S. Nationals title in 2000 for the 147-pound weight class.
Bradley hasn't been without some disappointments, however. Encouraged by his rapid rise in the amateur division, he tried out for the U.S. Olympic team. Changes to some of the weight classes imposed by the U.S. Olympic Committee left him unprepared.
"They eliminated both the 156 and 147-pound weight classes and combined them at a new weight, 152," Bradley told HBO.
As a result, Bradley was forced to face guys that he says were a lot bigger than him and he missed out on the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games after losing in the Western Trials.
Hoping never to experience that kind of disappointment again, Bradley redoubled his efforts to become the best he could be. Since turning professional, he's gone undefeated, sporting a sterling 28-0 record.
It's this commitment to excellence that makes Pacquiao take the 28-year-old Bradley seriously.
"We have trained hard for Bradley because he is the type of fighter we cannot underestimate," Pacquiao relayed to the Miami Herald. "I don’t know what Tim Bradley will bring in the ring on that night, but we will be ready for whatever he brings."
Will Bradley's perfect professional record improve to 29 wins or will Pacquiao show Bradley who is the true king of the ring? You can find out for yourself by sending your first transfer to the Philippines with Xoom. First-time users will be able to watch the pay-per-view event for free. Visit Xoom.com to find out more about this limited time offer.