PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Timothy Bradley has never lost a professional boxing match. He is 30-0 and the WBO welterweight champion of the world, yet he still fights to win the respect of boxing fans.
"If you can't say that I'll do something, I will prove it to you," Bradley said. "That's my motivation. That's my fuel to my fire. A lot of people say that I can't beat this guy. I will prove them all wrong."
That guy is the popular knockout artist Juan Manuel Marquez. Bradley's next opponent famously knocked out Manny Pacquaio in December. Marquez has 40 knockouts in his career, but he will be 40 years old when he steps in the ring with the Desert Storm in Las Vegas on October 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
"I think my intelligence. My ring smarts," Bradley cites as reasons why he will defeat Marquez. "My ability to move in and out. My combination punching. And my speed. I think that's going to be a factor in this fight."
Bradley used those skills to beat Manny Pacquaio in a controversial decision last summer that seemed to win him little respect. He's noticed more fight fans getting into his corner since his brutal, brawling victory over Ruslan Provodnikov in March.
"If you weren't a boxing fan after watching that fight and actually seeing the heart and the determination and the will to win, I think that you will learn to respect me and what I do and what I bring to the ring," Bradley said.
Bradley has had to deal with more criticism than most unbeaten world champions, mostly from people upset with the Pacquaio decision and his low knockout percentage, but Bradley has shown that he can take a punch, and the Palm Springs native has always been able to count on support from his home town.
"I love my fans here locally," Bradley said. "I love everybody that always has supported me over the years, and continue to support me. God bless everybody out there. I'm looking forward to this big fight. And we will prevail once again."