THE Manny Pacquiao vs Tim Bradley undercard has taken shape for the April 9 show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mexico’s Gilberto Ramirez challenges WBO super-middleweight Arthur Abraham. “This is my time. I have a lot of respect for Arthur Abraham. He’s a great champion. I know he’s working hard in training camp as am I,” Ramirez said. “It’s going to be a great fight. I have to be smart in this fight. We are working on keeping the pressure on Abraham by throwing high volumes of punches and staying on top of him. I’m going to be a second skin on him. I feel a great sense of history fighting to become Mexico’s first super middleweight champion. It is a great honor representing my country in this fight. All I am thinking about is April 9. Looking past this fight is meaningless. The future is now.”
Rising star Oscar Valdez meets former world champion Evgeny Gradovich. “My vast amateur background has prepared me to adapt to many different boxing styles,” Valdez warned. “Gradovich is a breakthrough opportunity for me professionally. A victory over him is a big step that will lead me to a world title shot. I’m not feeling any pressure. I want this fight. I have trained my whole life for this fight.”
Gradovich, the “Mexican Russian”, countered, “I have I lived and breathed this fight since training camp began. It’s all I have thought of. I’m an old school Mexican-style fighter. I love Julio César Chávez, Juan Manuel Márquez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. I know everyone thinks Valdez is the future star of boxing but I love this sport too much to allow him to beat me and move me down. I’m going to start fast and keep my foot on the gas pedal.”
Jose Ramirez is another top prospect to watch on the bill and he also issued a stinging rebuke to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, saying, “It’s a dream come true fighting on a card headlined by a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley. Millions of people around the world will be watching us fight. It’s what I have dreamed of since I first entered a gym as a boy. The fans from the Central Valley have been very loyal to me and I am very loyal to them. I am proud to represent our common causes that mean so much to the farmers, specifically water issues. I used to be a picker. I picked peppers. I want to help bring a tomorrow to the farmers and their families. Everyone counts. I am honored to be a voice for them. They are not alone. I am a first generation American. I was proud to represent the US in the Olympics because of the ideals that are the foundation of this country. Donald Trump lacks the education to understand this and why those ideals make our country. I want to show and share the lesson that you can succeed.”