Media Invades Tim "Desert Storm" Bradley's Camp
By David A. Avila
While the tennis world heated up this week in the Palm Springs area, one prizefighter Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, was firing up the pistons in the shadows of Indian Wells to prepare for his coming bout against Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
It’s still early but these are unusual circumstances.
Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) doesn’t fight Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) until June 9 at the MGM in Las Vegas, but the publicity machine slips into gear a little early when a mega pay-per-view fight occurs. It’s a juggernaut that needs to get fed early and can disrupt normal training.
“I worry about distractions,” said Joel Diaz, who trains Bradley in Indio.
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.”
Bradley will be engaging in his first mega fight. Usually the main media groups that cover his fights are the two main daily newspapers in the area and some boxing web sites. This time television crews from around the world will be descending into the Palm Springs airport and hundreds of reporters will be bombarding Bradley’s promoter for interviews. It can be daunting.
“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, on the other hand, has fought in numerous mega fights where the entire world was watching. He’s accustomed to 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.
Though Pacquiao is a prohibitive favorite, Bradley has never been defeated and has versatility that few other prizefighters possess. Much like Juan Manuel Marquez who fought Pacquiao last November in a fight many fans and boxing writers thought should have gone in favor of the Mexican fighter.
“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.”
The fight may be three months away but Bradley and his team are already in sync for the welterweight showdown.
“He knows the game plan,” said Bradley about Pacquiao. “I’m going to come straight to him. This ain’t no game.”
It may be early but Bradley has his game face on. He’s ready for game, set and match.
Former two-time lightweight world champion Julio “Kidd” Diaz arrived at the Indio boxing gym to start his campaign as a welterweight too.
“I want to re-start my career again at 147 pounds,” said Diaz, whose last fight was a losing effort to Kendall Holt in May 2011. “My body is too weak at 140 pounds.”
Diaz (38-7, 27 KOs) has been offered a fight against United Kingdom’s Paul McKloskey (23-1, 12 KOs) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He’s mulling over the offer but prefers to stay in the United States.
“I would love to fight the older champions like Erik Morales,” said Diaz adding that marquee match ups against Devon Alexander and other world champions are sought.
“Throw me to the big dogs. If I survive them then I’m back in like Orlando Salido.”
Salido won the featherweight world title with a knockout of Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez then repeated that win with another knockout.
“I used to spar with Salido when I was world champion,” said Diaz. “I always knew he was a great fighter.”
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).