Bradley ignores critics, eyes future

As he readies for his June 9 HBO pay-per-view fight with Manny Pacquiao, undefeated challenger Timothy Bradley will share some thoughts each week.

In this installment, Bradley discusses with HBO his take on critics who thought he should have taken the Amy Khan fight.

Q: How does it feel getting this fight after being criticized for not taking the Amir Khan fight? Did you know this fight was coming at the time? Were you willing to take all that negativity just to get this fight with Pacquiao?

Timothy Bradley: In boxing, criticism is part of the game. You hear it before, during and after every fight. I have learned to let it roll off me like water off a duck’s back.

Experience told me that the timing for the Amir Khan fight was wrong. I had already fought and won two world title unification fights against Kendall Holt and Devon Alexander. Both were big victories, but because of the timing of when they took place I didn’t realize the full financial potential that I feel I should have.

When the Amir Khan world title unification fight was presented I was determined not to be pushed into it. Business as usual was no longer acceptable and certain changes had to be made. I went over all the details with my team, debated the merits and decided it was not the best deal. I heard the criticism. I read the criticism. But deep down I knew, based on what was being offered to me, it was not the right deal. It was a business decision. And if it’s one thing I have learned as a professional boxer it’s this: Sometimes the deal you don’t make is the best deal you do make.

I am thrilled beyond compare that I am challenging Manny Pacquiao. I was at the right place at the right time. But I’m also deserving of this fight. I have been a world champion since 2008. I have unified the titles twice. I’m undefeated. I’m the best in my division. I feel I made the right decision not only for my career but for my life — for my family. Looking back at it I can say that it was definitely worth enduring all the negativity directed toward me. I am now in a place where I will be able to accomplish another one of my goals in life, and that is to fight the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. This is a huge challenge for me personally and professionally.

It feels great to get the fight with Manny Pacquiao. It’s going to feel even better when I beat him. You can take that to the bank.

Pacquiao vs. Bradley takes place June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.