|Fans wait for boxer and Filipino congressman Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas June 5, 2012. Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against junior welterweight champion, U.S. boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on June 9. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters and Las Vegas Sun.
MANILA, Philippines – Boxers Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and Timothy Bradley Jr. of the United States made their grand arrival in Las Vegas today, four days ahead of their highly anticipated welterweight clash at the MGM Grand on June 9.
Pacquiao immediately hit the track at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas before going to the MGM Grand, where he was welcomed by hundreds of his fans.
The Filipino boxing champion, who will defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt, said he was excited and ready for fight night.
Not to be outdone, Bradley also proclaimed his readiness to dethrone the “Pacman.”
“I’m ready 110%,” Bradley said. “Without a doubt on my mind, there’s no doubt in my bones.”
Bradley also shrugged off criticism of Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who said he was more of a body builder than a boxer.
“It don’t matter what Roach say. I don’t care what he says. He is not going to be in the ring fighting with Pacquiao,” Bradley said.
“Pacquiao will be telling him something different when he comes back in that corner,” he added.
Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, believes that his boxer is capable of pulling off a major upset.
“Bradley will be knocked out? I don’t see that happening,” he said. “I see a really good, competitive fight, close fight.”
“I believe Bradley, I believe in my guy. I believe Bradley can win. It will be a heck of fight,” Dunkin added.
Boxing fans are expected to troop to Las Vegas this Saturday to watch Pacquiao defend his world title, as well as his standing as one of the best fighters in the planet, while Bradley is eager to maintain his unbeaten record and take Pacquiao’s throne.
Some of Bradley’s fans are already in Las Vegas and are vocal in their support of the American boxer.
“I don’t think Pacquiao trained as hard for this fight. I think he is overlooking Bradley,” said Jeff Patterson, a Bradley fan. “I got a feeling Bradley will take this fight.”
“I’m rooting for Bradley. It’s about time we got a new champion,” added Russell Williams.
Pacquiao is expected to get around $26 million for the fight, while Bradley is slated to get a guaranteed purse of $3 million. – Reports from Dyan Castillejo and Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN News North America