Last week I headed down to LA to cover the media days for Manny Pacquiao & Timothy Bradley for Getty. They were holding media days for their upcoming rematch tomorrow on HBO. It was great returning to the Wild Card Boxing Gym. Last time I was there I was on assignment for SEEN magazine photographing Amir Khan training the entire day with Alex Ariza and Freddie Roach. So it has been a few years as both Amir & Ariza are no longer working with Roach.
As expected, the place was packed. Outside were a handful of fans who got told to leave and that only media was allowed to be there as we waited to enter. I knew it would be an adventure covering this media day because the Wild Card Boxing Gym is small and there would be a ton of media there to see Manny.
Media days usually start late and sometimes the athlete can take a long time to arrive and/or get ready. Usually, it’s a workout they do for the media but sometimes they only do interviews. A couple of reporters were telling me that for a previous media day, Manny showed up late, just did a few interviews and then left! He didn’t work out at all. I’ve certainly experienced that before but fortunately that didn’t this time. Manny was in a great mood. He was having a great time and was all smiles talking & posing for the media.
The atmosphere during Manny’s media day was fun & light. He was having a great time and showed burst of speed & power when he was smiling. Below you can see how packed the gym was. Once you had your place on the ring (if you got one) you couldn’t really move around or leave because that would result in you loosing your place.
He finished off the workout by hitting the double end bag. You can image everyone scrambling to leave their the ring to move where Manny was headed. I decided to just stay back and instead of fighting for spot to close him I photographed him from the ring. That allowed me a few things. I was able to photograph him for a higher point of view and use my long lens to zoom into his face. He was real focused hitting the double end bag as you can see below. Many people think that Manny has lost his killer instinct. I have no clue how the fight will go tomorrow, it’s hard to tell anything from seeing a fighter a week or even days before. Some can look determined & focused during their media and come fight night, they don’t deliver and vice-versa.
The next day I headed to Tim Bradley’s media day. Everyone was saying that excepted about half the media to show up for his day. It was actually just as packed with media. However, the atmosphere from Bradley’s media day was WAY different then Pacquiao’s. It was way more serious and down to business. Bradley looked like a man on mission with something to prove. Both him and his trainer Joel Diaz are upset that the main stream media didn’t think that they beat Pacquaio last time they met.
I overheard Joel Diaz express how disappointed he felt in boxing because he had no idea what else they needed to do to get credit for their victory. Even though they won on the judges score cards, he felt disappointed that the fans and everyone else saw it differently.
Bradley was more than happy to pose & flex for the media. While shadow boxing and working out he express to everyone how determined he is about winning and removing any doubt from fans & media about his last victory of Manny. Everyone says Bradley needs to knock Manny out to remove any doubt and get a victory. He’s not known as a knock out artist but seems completely determined on winning. On the other end, a lot people think Manny is not the same after being knocked out cold by Marquez and that he’s lost his killer instinct. We’ll see what happens tomorrow! Who do you got winning?