Timothy Bradley takes on more than Brandon Rios
If Thursday’s news conference in Las Vegas was any indication of Timothy Bradley’s current mindset, the Cathedral City native will battle more than Brandon Rios when he puts his welterweight title on the line Saturday night at the nearby Thomas & Mack Center.
Bradley, who in recent years replaced manager Cameron Dunkin with his wife, Monica, and two months ago replaced longtime trainer Joel Diaz after 11 years together, stepped to the podium at the Wynn Las Vegas and took a moment to address what he viewed as widespread criticism for such moves.
“I have a whole list of things I want to say today,” Bradley began. “I don’t know if I should say them.”
Bradley (32-1-1, 12 KOs) spoke about the fight, about how he’s prepared and about what he hopes to do Saturday night. Then he shared with the assembled media a few of those other things that were on his mind.
“Sometimes people don’t really understand what I have around me, and what goes around me,” Bradley said. “I want to make it live a little bit to some of you folks out there or some of you non-believers in Tim Bradley, that I’m very intelligent, and I’m going to tell you why.
“I signed with the best promoter in the boxing business, Top Rank, linking up with one of the best managers in the business, Cameron Dunkin. Then, I tell my wife, learn everything you can from Cameron Dunkin. Everything. Learn everything you can. Everything. Because, guess what? Someday you’re going to be my manager, you’re going to be saving me 10 percent of my purse, which we’re doing.”
Bradley added, “I’m not dumb, I’m a super smart, smart guy, I really am. Really smart, and so is my team.”
Much has been written about Bradley’s breakup with Dunkin, who now manages Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs) and attended the news conference. Dunkin also manages Jessie Vargas, who fought and lost to Bradley by unanimous decision in June. At the time, Dunkin and Bradley both said there were no hard feelings and that they remain cordial toward each other, despite the way they ended their working relationship.
As Bradley spoke of Dunkin on Thursday, he shook his head, his eyes fixated on the floor in front of him. Afterward, he said he has nothing but respect for Bradley, but isn’t surprised that Bradley is still defending his decision to cut ties with Dunkin years later. Dunkin also wondered if Bradley’s emotions will play a larger role in Saturday’s outcome.
At the podium, Bradley continued.
“I’m set up for success,” he said. “Set up for success, OK? So when you bash me in the media and you say, ‘Wow, he got rid of his trainer (of) 10 years, he’s dumb. He got rid of his manager, he’s dumb.’ Listen guys, everything has a plan, everything has a purpose.”
As Bradley enters the ring on Saturday, he’ll not only face a brutal opponent, but will evidently do so carrying some added weight on his shoulders. Whether or not the decisions Bradley has made within his team have helped or hurt his career, there’s no longer any doubt that he’s fighting in part to prove to naysayers that he’s in complete control of how the final chapter of his career unfolds.
The first step in doing that will come Saturday night. Either Bradley will emerge victorious and validate what was said Thursday, or he’ll give doubters an opportunity to fan the flames.
“I wish Tim all the best,” Dunkin said. “I hope he finds what he’s looking for.”