The final conference call for the Timothy Bradley vs. Lamont Peterson title fight was held on Wednesday, and both fighters had plenty to say. Take a look at some highlights from the conference call and an overall preview for the upcoming bout. Bradley, (24-0-1 NC, 11 KOs), of Palm Springs, Calif., and Peterson (27-0, 13 KOs), of Washington, D.C., participated in a national media conference call to discuss their upcoming world title mega-matchup on Saturday, Dec. 12 live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In an excellent battle of unbeatens, Bradley will defend his WBO 140-pound title against interim champ Peterson at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The telecast will open with WBC/WBA Super Flyweight Champion Vic Darchinyan (32-2-1, 26 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, defending his belts against WBC interim titlist Tomas Rojas (31-11-1, 22 KOs) of Mexico.
Bradley, who is coming off a No Contest against former unified lightweight world champion Nate Campbell on Aug. 1 on SHOWTIME, is on a hot streak in the stacked 140-pound division. Bradley originally won the fight via highly controversial third-round TKO, but the decision was later changed to a NC by the California State Athletic Commission due to an accidental head butt that opened a cut over Campbell’s left eye.
Peterson, who is one of the hottest prospects in boxing, is coming off a seventh-round TKO over previously unbeaten Willy Blain on April 25, 2009 for the interim WBO junior welterweight title. Now he has his first shot at a world title against a man that no one in the division has been able to beat.
The 12-rounders are promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions, in association with Top Rank and Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa.
TIMOTHY BRADLEY OPENING COMMENTS:
“There’s nothing like fighting at home and I’m glad to be back. I’m glad that my promoters were able to make that possible.”
“Lamont Peterson is a great fighter; I grew up with him in the amateurs. I know him very well and he knows me very well. I’m just looking forward to the fight. I’m hungry and I’m willing to show the world what I have. We’re both undefeated, which makes for a great fight. We both have speed and power, and we both have boxing ability, so it’s going to be a great fight. But, at the end of the day, it’s my job to teach Lamont Peterson how to lose, and that’s what I’m going to do on Dec. 12.”
Tim, what are your thoughts on the result of your last fight?
BRADLEY: “I’m way over that. Things happened and you just have to move on. My biggest focus right now is on Dec. 12. As far as it goes with (Nate) Campbell, I’m over that. I’ve been over that for months, so I’m moving onto the next challenge, and that’s Lamont Peterson.”
How important is it to you to have to people, fans and experts understand how good Timothy Bradley is?
BRADLEY: “You can basically look at my resume and see that in less than one year I one two world titles. I’m still young, I’ve fought on the road, like a veteran, and I won on the road. People don’t understand how much pressure there is on a fighter when he fights on the road. I beat Junior Witter on the road to win the world title and didn’t get much credit for that. On the road, that just shows you how determined I am to being great. At the end of the day, after I beat Lamont Peterson, people are going to start realizing that, ‘I’m going to stop betting against this guy and I’m going to get on the bandwagon.’”
Where does your tenacity come from?
BRADLEY: “I think it just comes from my love for the sport. I just love what I do and I have that competitive nature. I made a promise to my promoter that they line ‘em up and I’m going to knock them all down. I have a great team supporting me and I have a lot of faith in my abilities and myself. I train extremely hard for every fight like it’s my last fight, and that’s pretty much what puts me over the top, my conditioning level and how I take care of myself before and after training camp.”
Do you feel like you’re getting the respect you deserve?
BRADLEY: “I don’t know, everybody has their opinions. It doesn’t really bother me. Dec. 12, just come out and watch the fight. You’re going to see a big difference. Boxing is about style, styles make fights. He could give me problems, but we’re going to see. He’s a much taller opponent with a lot longer reach, but that’s not going to keep me off of you. I’m coming in there to get him, and we’ll see how long he lasts.”
Has it been any different fighting at home?
BRADLEY: “It’s the same. There’s a little added pressure, but this is my job, this is what I do. I know I have to get in there and take care of business, but I’m a little more relaxed now, a lot more mature. I’m not as nervous or anxious as I normally am.
“This fight is a mandatory fight. If I were to lose this fight, there’s no way I could get my belt back from this guy. That’s my only pressure, is losing my title. That’s it.”
Being that Lamont is more of a counter-puncher, you might have to be more of an aggressor. Is that something that you guys have worked on in this fight?
BRADLEY: “My natural style is being aggressive, so I don’t have to work on it too much. I love to get it on, and sometimes I don’t use my head and I’ll get caught with some stupid shots I shouldn’t have. My trainer is working on slowing me down a little bit, let me take my time and pick me shot. We’ve been working on that a lot, but as far as coming forward to fight, I’m always game.”
You keep taking tough fights. Why?
BRADLEY: “I just want to fight the best fighters in the world. That’s pretty much it. I’ve told my promoters that I want to fight the best fighters in the world. Will I ever get a chance to fight Manny Pacquiao fight, probably not? Those guys are mega-fighters. I just want to fight the best. Anybody that’s in my weight class who’s considered the best, that’s who I want to fight. I’ve had it in my heart for a long time that I wanted to fight these guys (Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather), but I’ve let that go. I’ll just fight whoever they give me.”
LAMONT PETERSON OPENING COMMENTS:
“I’ve been training ever since I went out to California to see Timothy and Nate fight. We pretty much knew this was going to be my next fight, we just didn’t know when at the time. Right now, I’ve been in great shape for two or three months. We’re just trying to level everything out and doing what we need to do to give us a chance to win. We feel really good right now, and we’re looking to go ahead and win the title on Dec. 12.
What does it mean to you to have Lamont to fight for a world title?
BARRY HUNTER (Lamont’s Trainer): “The day Lamont stepped into the gym we’ve been gearing up for this day to fight for a world title. When you look at two young people like Anthony and Lamont that went from what they went from at such an early age, to actually come from that a win a world title would be just huge. It would send a message clear across the map that if you don’t like where you are and where you are is a bad place you can do something about it. You don’t have to always stay there.”
How does it feel to be fighting for a world title?
PETERSON: “It’s a dream come true. A lot of times you talk about us being out in the street, a lot of the times it got me through just dreaming of this day of fighting to become a world champion. It’s really an honor and I’m really thankful. It wasn’t just me alone. I dreamed of this day, but there was a lot of people who helped this dream come true, and I have to give thanks to them. Right now, I’m living my dream. I’m just happy about the fight and giving it my all because I know this is it.”
Is it hard to believe that you’re fighting for a world championship, considering where you came from?
PETERSON: “I always dreamed of this day, and I always thought this day had come. But when it actually came I was like, wow, I have come a long way. To survive in that type of environment, I had to be a certain way. I had to make some changes to get to this point, and coach Barry helped with that. It’s crazy. It’s weird, but I like it.”
Are there any butterflies?
PETERSON: “That’s mental work that I work on every night, at least 30 minutes a night. I understand that it’s a world title fight and I might have butterflies, but if I work on that every night, I should be prepared. Mentally, I’m prepared for that, I’m prepared to get knocked down or go 12, but if you prepare correctly, you should be ready to get in the ring when the time comes.”
Can you talk about your relationship with Timmy from the amateurs?
PETERSON: “He’s a pretty cool guy. We don’t have a really close relationship. As far as his fighting style, he’s very determined and he comes to win. He comes to fight and he comes to win, and I respect him as a fighter. From the amateurs to the pros, same style, it just seems like he’s in better condition now, as a pro, which he should be. I’m more of a thinking first fighter, but, if need be, I can go in there and bang with the best of them. With me, I make my adjustments in the ring. I think whatever Timothy brings, I should be able to make the adjustments.”
How do you plan to utilize your height and reach advantage?
PETERSON: “Of course, you can use your reach in different ways. I don’t have to move back to use my reach. I can move forward and keep him at reach and keep my jab and straight punches at him. .Regardless if I’m moving back or moving forward, I’ll use my reach and just try to take advantage of that.
What type of fight will it be? Will it be a fight, fight or more of a chess match?
PETERSON: “I’m prepared for both because Timothy can box, and I know he can bang. And I know I can box and I know I can bang. It’s hard to say now. What strategy I decide to use in the fight and what he decides to use, I guess that will determine how the fight will play out. But, it could go either way. It could be an all out war or it could be a chess match. I’m ready for either one.”
You’re taking on a tough champion for your title shot. Does that concern you?
PETERSON: “It’s OK with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way. A lot of guys fight someone they know they can beat. But, with me it’s about fighting the best. If a fight comes up, you take it. It’s also a good thing for me because I don’t have to go through the other guys. I’m fighting the No. 1 at 140 pounds. If I can jump over the other guys then that will be good for me.”
What was the most impressive fight you’ve seen from Bradley?
HUNTER: “I think the fight against Kendall Holt was the most impressive for me. Not the fact that he won the fight, but that he came back from getting knocked down. That showed that he was in great condition. And his awareness, when he got knocked down he got up and took a knee. He was aware to the point where he took a knee, got himself back together, and he won the fight. That was very, very impressive.”
HUNTER: “We are elated to have this opportunity. Timmy is a friend, but, nevertheless, the path to a world title is through him, and that’s the path we’re going to take. I’m very confident we’re going to walk out of the ring with a world title.
PETERSON: “I will take full advantage of this opportunity on Dec. 12 and I will be champion. Tune in on Dec. 12, because it’s going to be a great fight.”
Image Credit: Carlos Baeza / Thompson Boxing Promotions