MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten American champion Timothy Bradley Jr. is confident going into his title defense against challenger Ruslan Provodnikov, even if the Russian fighter has Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach in his corner.
Bradley will return to the ring for the first time in eight months to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Provodnikov on March 16 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
It will be Bradley’s first fight since upsetting former pound-for-pound king Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in June 2012
“I already beat Freddie Roach’s top dog, so I don’t know how much Freddie can help this guy,” Bradley said during the pre-fight press conference last week, as quoted by Boxing Scene.
But Roach had a perfect response to Bradley, saying: “Only Bradley and two other guys believe that. I think Bradley’s been out in the desert sun too long.”
Bradley defeated Pacquiao via a highly controversial split decision, with two out of three judges giving the American the fight 115-113.
Promoter Bob Arum, who was present during the press conference, did not take the bait when asked about Bradley’s statement.
“Bradley had his hand raised. If he had his hand raised, I guess he believes he won it, you know?” Arum said.
“Two judges believe he won it. In the absence of any hint of corruption, he technically won the fight, so you can’t blame him from trumpeting that,” he added.
Bradley is hoping to fight at least three times in 2013 after foot injuries sustained during the Pacquiao fight kept him from building on the momentum of his victory.