By Leighton Ginn
LAS VEGAS – Timothy Bradley said he and his trainer Teddy Atlas have broken down the game plan for Manny Pacquiao by the minute.
More specifically, they have it broken down to 36 minutes, or the total minutes for Saturday’s welterweight bout at the MGM Grand. The fight will be on HBO pay-per-view, starting at 6 p.m., PST, 9 p.m. EST.
This will be Pacquiao’s first fight since his loss to Floyd Mayweather nearly a year ago. In that fight, Pacquiao re-aggravated a right shoulder injury and had been out of the ring while he recovers.
In announcing this fight, Pacquiao said this would be his final fight as he is also running for a senate seat in the Philippines. Currently Pacquiao is a congressman.
With the layoffs, injuries and distractions, Bradley was asked if he was expecting a weakened or distracted Pacquiao.
“We don’t look for weakness in any of our opponents so we can be strong. We need to be strong all the way through, 36 minutes of complete dedication and focus all the way through,” Bradley said, and started to get animated. “Teddy made me realize all it takes is 36 minutes of complete focus and concentration all the way through, doing the game plan and all the things we worked on to be part of history and to be remembered for the rest of your life.”
Pacquiao is the first fighter to win world titles in an unprecedented eight weight classes, and was named the Fighter of the Decade for the 2000s. While Mayweather might be undefeated, including a victory over Pacquiao, it is Pacquiao who has been more of a favorite with his fan-friendly style full of action.
“This is a man you’re fighting that’s an 8 division world champion, that’s one of the best fighters of this generations and will be talked about from years on out, and when he retires and boxing continues and when Bob Arum continues after 50 years in boxing,” Bradley said. “He will be remembered as one of the best to ever lace a pair of gloves. He said, ‘you’re going to be a part of that Tim. You’re going to be a part of that, by beating this guy. This is your chance; this is your opportunity. Thirty-six minutes, that’s all it takes.’”