By Alex P. Vidal
Between two hard-hitting fighters, Pacquiao, being the most celebrated and controversial figure in and out the ring, gets the bulk of publicity mileage both in print, broadcast, TV and internet media.
Pacquiao’s training camp in Wild Card Gym had been frequented by Hollywood hearth-throbs, politicians, ex-champs, rock stars, religious ministers, and Playboy models; thus media had a field day forming a beeline in Freddie Roach’s territory on Vine St., Hollywood.
On the other hand, only a handful of reporters gave a hoot about the progress of Bradley’s training in Cathedral City, California until Team Bradley decided to open the three-time world champion’s training camp last month. If media did not visit his training camp at the Fortune Gym, nobody would know that the unbeaten American fighter nicknamed “The Desert Storm” could belt “I love you all” in Tagalog. “Mahal ko kayo lahat,” Bradley intoned; nobody would know that Bradley’s breadbasket is stuffed with boulders of rocks.
Inside the Fortune Gym was a small 15-by-15 ring, with media standing elbow-to-elbow along the ropes to hear Bradley speak.
“I’m ready to go. I’m ready to go I’ll bring it back. It’s like we all win, because we’re from the desert and it’s like we all win,” he was quoted by DogHouse Boxing’s Adrianna Weingold.
Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, said his ward will not find it hard fighting a southpaw like Pacquiao as Bradley had beaten two southpaws in his previous fights: Devon Alexander and Joel Casamayor.
“I know in training I’m not getting hit a whole lot with it,” Bradley said. “In the beginning of training camp, I was getting hit with it, but now I am stepping underneath it — great defense and great footwork and counter-punching. I’ve been looking really good and not getting hit a lot in training camp. I am dialed in on the left hand.”
Bradley asked boxing fans to “tune in on June 9 when I destroy Manny Pacquiao.”
For five full weeks leading to the June 9 WBO 147-lb championship at the MGM Grand, media attention was focused on the real superstar, Rep. Manny Pacquiao. His trainers have predicted an end to Pacquiao’s knockout drought that started when he failed to flatten Joshua Clottey (34) in Texas two years ago. Despite being tagged as “grandfathers,” Antonio Margarito (34), Shane Mosley (40), and Juan Manuel Marquez (38) failed to kiss the mat and finished their respective 12-round brawls with the 33-year-old Pacquiao in full route.
Roach has estimated Bradley’s demise in five rounds.
Bradley, who has never been beaten as a professional and is known for his excellent footwork, laughed off Roach’s predication. “Hit and don’t get hit,” he hissed.
Istvan Kovacs has been designated as WBO fight supervisor.
Referee will be Robert Byrd while judges are Duane Ford, C.J. Ross, and Jerry Roth.