Tim Bradley is undefeated in 28 career professional fights with 12 KOs and will give Manny Pacquiao all he can handle in the June 9 showdown.
Although many think this fight is just another filer to hold fan interest before a potential battle with Floyd Mayweather, a loss would be a crushing blow to Pacquiao's illustrious career.
Plenty of news has recently surfaced from both sides, and I've collected the most pertinent information right here.
By now you know about his infamous comments against the sanctity of gay marriage. Pacquiao spent Wednesday apologizing to the gay community and fans across the globe that were offended by his strong sentiments.
The Los Angeles Times interviewed the iconic boxer on the subject:
"What I said is a reporter asked me about gay marriage .... I am against gay marriage, but I'm not condemning gays," the boxer said in an interview with The Times. "I have family — a cousin — who's gay, and friends too. I'm just against gay marriage. I don't even want to talk about the issue, but I was asked about it, so I gave my opinion."
He wasn't done there. Mario Lopez of Extra sat down with the Pacquiao and the welterweight champion expanded on his apology: (h/t L.A. Times)
"To the gay community, I apologize. I'm against same-sex marriage, but I'm not condemning you. My favorite verse is 'Love one another as you love yourself. Love your neighbor.' So I love everybody!"
Interestingly, the writer who crafted the initial story regarding Pacquiao's comments issued an apology in the form of a column and stated the following: "I sincerely apologize for the confusion my column has caused. I certainly do not represent Pacquiao nor his team."
This fiasco isn't the end of the world for Pacquiao, but it's certainly a unnecessary distraction he's having to deal with as the fight rapidly approaches.
However, according to his trainer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao dealt with pre-fight distractions before his narrow victory over Juan Manuel Marquez.
From another L.A. Times article, Roach discusses the troubles he was having with his marriage to wife, Jinkee, prior to the November bout and says Pacquiao has gotten his life back on track: "He's back with his wife, reading the Bible every day, and he's given up basketball."
Bradley, the underdog, in typical boxer speak, isn't backing down from his opponent. He exuded confidence in the few quotes gathered from the L.A. Times. "I can box, I can brawl, I'm well-conditioned -- no one is more conditioned than me. I'm right there with Pacquiao and [Floyd] Mayweather.
That's quite the bold statement from Bradley, especially facing Pacquiao, a fighter known for his rigorous and intensely disciplined conditioning regimen.
He went on to discuss the more technical aspect of the fight, including his strengths and what he thinks about Pacquiao in the ring:
I slip, slide, bob and weave. I have good footwork. For Manny, he'll be looking at himself when he sees me. The only advantage he has on me is his power. But I can go to the body if he gets reckless. I'm young, in my prime, and I have a lot of confidence and swagger. I don't fear this guy. He's just a guy to me. He hasn't proved he's better.
Bradley ended by describing the Filipino boxer's last four wins as "lackadaisical."
At 28 years old, Bradley is certainly in the prime of his career and should give Pacquiao a great fight in early June.