Unbeaten WBO 140 pound champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (24-0, 11 KOs) of North Palm Springs, Calif., and challenger and former unified lightweight belt-holder Nate “The Galaxxy Warrior” Campbell (33-5-1, 25 KOs) participated in a spirited conference call on Thursday to discuss their eagerly awaited showdown on Saturday, Aug. 1, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). The Bradley-Campbell scheduled 12 rounder will follow a second 140 pound world title fight on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. In the first half of a world championship doubleheader, undefeated, No. 2 rated Devon Alexander “The Great” (18-0, 11 KOs) of St. Louis will face No. 3 Junior Witter (37-2-2, 22 KOs) of England for the WBC strap that Bradley voluntarily relinquished. The biggest boxing event in the history of The Coachella Valley in Southern California will emanate from The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. It will be promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions in association with Don King Productions and Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa. Limited tickets are still available purchase online at www.HotWaterCasino.com/TheShow or by calling (800) 585-3737.
Opening Comments: Timothy Bradley: “It’s going be a great fight. I know Nate comes to fight hard. I’m looking forward to a war with Nate Campbell. Fans should get ready fireworks on Aug. 1.”
Nate Campbell: “I want to thank Timmy for taking this fight because he didn’t have to take it. I’m just ready to fight. I’m over talking about it, let’s get it on.”
How impressed were you by what Nate Campbell did to Juan Diaz last year?
Bradley: “I couldn’t believe it. I actually lost money on that fight. I bet my promoter, Alex Camponovo, that Juan would be able to come back. When I saw Nate put his hands on Juan, I was like, ‘wow, this dude is unbelievable.’ I was like, ‘I would never want to get in the ring with that dude.’ But it came down to it. Basically, to be the best you’ve got to beat the best. I consider Nate Campbell one of the best fighters at 140 pounds. That’s why I’m taking this challenge. I want to be the best fighter in the world at 140 pounds and I have to beat Nate Campbell to do that.”
What makes you so confident that what happened to Diaz isn’t going to happen to you?
Bradley: “I’m not Juan Diaz. I’m not one dimensional. He can’t box and he can’t adjust in the ring. That’s what makes me confident because I can do it all. I can box, I can bang, and I can stand there and trade with you. I can move the fight, too. I can make my adjustments in the ring and that’s what makes me so confident.”
Can you tell us what this opportunity to again become a world champion means to you?
Campbell: “Every fight for me is the fight of my life. Because of the danger that I carry in the ring, no one wants to fight me anyway.
“I’m just a fighter, that’s what I do. When the bell rings, I fight. I make adjustments. I think I’m one of the most complete fighters in boxing. I can do anything I want whenever I want to do it. I’m an angry guy to deal with.”
How can fans be sure that you’re as good now as you were 17 months ago when you beat Juan Diaz, given that you are 37 years old?
Campbell: “I really don’t understand why people worry about my age. I was 25 years old the first time I fought. I’ve taken care of my body. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I’ve been an athlete my entire life. Even when I wasn’t participating in sports, I was always athletically involved in something.
“I don’t think I have too much to prove to the fans. It’s just the media that makes those kinds of statements. As you all know, fighters are fighting longer and better.”
You said you were angry that you couldn’t get fights?
Campbell: How in the world did I have three of the four belts and I couldn’t get fights? No one was going to fight me for the simple reason that they didn’t want to take (me on).
What are you going to do now to make people fight you?
Campbell: “At this point in my life, whenever they put me in the ring with a fighter, my only quest is to ruin that fighter. My job is to ruin the fighter they put in front of me. I’m going to make them fight me. I’m going to ruin everyone I fight until there is no one else to fight but me.”
What are some of the challenges of training and fighting at home?
Bradley: “I’m used to fighting here in California. I’ve fought the majority of my fights here. I’m very comfortable. I just turn off my phone during the day. I’ve never in my life left my home for a training camp and I never will.”
Is it still special to have your name on the billboards?
Bradley: “It’s actually pretty cool. Now, I’ll be driving around and people will just come up to me and say ‘hello, how you doing, champ?’ It’s just out of the ordinary and weird. They never did that before. A lot of people come up and say, ‘are you the champ? Are you Tim Bradley?’ Things like that are different. I appreciate the billboards. It’s a lot of exposure.”
What did you learn from your fight with Kendall Holt?
Bradley: “I learned not to let fighters get under your skin. Just stick to your game plan. Now, I’ve just got to do what I do. Not get angry in there, be relaxed, stay posed and just fight my game plan.”
Talk about moving up in weight. Is this the weight class you want to stay in?
Campbell: “Actually, I’m knocking on weight right now. I can make weight today. But I don’t want to.
“When I turned pro, I turned pro as a featherweight, but I was fighting at welterweight. Not because I couldn’t make featherweight, but because I couldn’t get fights at featherweight. So I was fighting and getting knockouts at a higher weight, 147, 140, and 135.
“In my case, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been at 140. I’m really, really strong 140 right now. I’m going to be here for a while.”
Are you worried about fighting in Bradley’s backyard?
Campbell: “I don’t care. Terry (Trekas) knows I can explode at any moment. I’m a danger throughout. I can get you out during all rounds and every round. I don’t know if people want me to feel pressured, but I have no pressure. They already think that Timmy’s going to win, so I’m just coming to do my thing.”
How have things changed since you won the Holt fight?
Bradley: “Everything is pretty much the same. I still have a lot to prove. I’ve only been in the game for five years. Fighting Nate says a lot. He’s one of the best fighters at 140 pounds. He was the best, in my opinion, at 135 pounds. Me fighting Nate Campbell and beating Nate Campbell is just more proof that I am the best fighter at 140 pounds.
“Manny Pacquiao is the poster boy, but whatever. He is not the best fighter in the division. He’s fighting bigger fighters who are chopping down to make weight. And he’s chopping them up because they’re weak.
“Life is pretty much the same. I still drive a Ford Explorer.
“I want to fight the best fighters in the world. That’s it. You’ll never see me fight a weak opponent. I want to fight the best, period.”
Were you surprised that Bradley took the fight?
Campbell: “Yeah, I was. I was surprised, but then I wasn’t. A lot of people say I’m old. I’m at a point in my life where I’ve had so many fights against so many guys that were supposed to smash me that I just overlook what people say. If you’re going to beat me, you’ve got to show me. Everybody has a plan until I hit them in the mouth.”
You usually go out on a limb and make statements. Do you have anything to say about Tim?
Campbell: “I’m going to bust Timmy’s (expletive). When the bell rings, I go out there to do damage. We can be cool and friends after round 12. From the first round to the last I’m going to take your head off. I’m going to bust his ribs. I don’t care. I’m going to hurt him, and he better be doing the same.”
What do you think about that?
Bradley: “I don’t think anything of it. In 24 fights, all these people thought they were going to beat me and no one did.”
Campbell: “You’ve never fought anybody like me.”
Bradley: “I agree. It’s going to be a war. I’m not going to lay down for anybody.”
Campbell: “I don’t want you to lie down. I want you to stand and fight me.”
Bradley: “I’m going to stand toe-to-toe with him.”
Campbell: “I’ll believe you’ll stand toe-to-toe with me when I see it.”
How much of a role is experience going to play in this fight?
Campbell: “Everyone knows who I’ve fought. Everyone knows I’ve fought quality opposition. I’ve got more knockouts than he has wins (and) against good fighters, very, very solid fighters.
“This is a sport that is to be determined by what a man brings to a ring. Timmy can make his mouth fight now, but, when they bell rings, he has to prove that he can beat me. And I have to prove that I can beat him. That’s the beauty of being a prizefighter. I love being a prize fighter.
“But I also have something that Tim does not. When I lose, I don’t get another shot. So, every time I fight, I fight with reckless abandonment. I don’t care what happens, I must win this fight.”
Bradley: “That sounds like me. I learned a lot from my last fight.”
Campbell: “But, you’re last fight was not me.”
Bradley: “You’re right. It wasn’t you. But it doesn’t matter. All I can say is Aug. 1, be there or be square. It’s going down.”
Campbell: “Ya’ll can talk all you want, but, when the bell rings you’ll take three steps in and it’s on. I like it like that.”
Campbell: “It’s going to be you and me and I’m going to take you to the abyss.”
Bradley: “Bring it. Bring it. You’re going to bring the best out of me, Nate.”
Campbell: “I want you to bring your best.”
Bradley: “I’m serious. I didn’t have to fight you, Nate. I wanted to. I can beat you, Nate. I want to beat you.”
Campbell: “You’re going to have to prove it.”
Bradley: “I am going to prove it.”
Campbell: “I’m going to put it on you. I’m going to take the fight out of my mouth. I’m going to take you out of there.”
Bradley: “I have never been in the ring with anybody in my life that could beat me. Ever.”
Campbell: “I’m not old. I’m something special. At 37 years old, you’re going to see what experience can do to you.”
Bradley: “No, you’re going to see how tired your (expletive) is going to be after the fight. Nate, I’m going to wear your (expletive) out.”
Campbell: “You keep telling yourself that.”
Bradley: “I’m a young, hungry lion. I’ll be the one doing the damage.”
Campbell: “I’m going to tear you up. You can run your mouth all you want, but I’ll tear you up.”
Bradley: “The only way you’re going to beat me is by knocking me out.”
Campbell: “I’m going to do it. Don’t take this (expletive) whooping personally.”