LAS VEGAS – Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum expects a different Tim Bradley when he faces Manny Pacquiao anew inside the ring this Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
Since pulling the rug from under the boxing superstar from General Santos City two years ago to win the world welterweight title, Arum saw the unbeaten champion develop into a better fighter capable of giving Pacquiao a run for his money.
“He’s (Bradley) a very skillful fighter. He now has a lot of confidence than the first time he met Manny,” said the 80-year-old longtime boxing promoter.
Since Bradley’s questionable split decision win two years ago, the 30-year-old American eked out two huge victories against Russian Ruslan Provodnikov and Pacquiao’s longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Bradley’s improvement certainly didn’t escape the prying eyes of Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach.
“He’s build up a lot and he’s coming a lot,” said the five-time Trainer of the Year.
Roach was a witness on Tuesday when Pacquiao was greeted with a warm reception at the MGM Grand during his grand arrival here.
The entrance of the boxing superstar at MGM lobby on his way to the makeshift ring at the center of the hotel turned chaotic that Arum was almost trampled by the onrushing crowd.
“It’s only a miracle that no one was hurt, only a miracle. Everything was terrible. I’m thankful everybody survived. We’re not gonna be lucky all the time,” said Arum later.
”I wouldn’t allow this anymore.”
Bradley didn’t have his own grand arrival as he touched down in the `City of Lights’ late Tuesday evening after watching the Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game in Los Angeles, where he was interviewed at halftime by former NBA stars Chris Webber and Reggie Miller.
“Good thing we didn’t have to go through this with Bradley,” Arum told Top Rank executive Brad Jacobs.