Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Bradley: 'This is my chance at redemption'
By Timothy Bradley Jr.
Special to ESPN.com
In the two years since his controversial June 2012 victory over Manny Pacquiao, unbeaten welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. has done nothing but grow as a fighter.
Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs), 30, survived a toe-to-toe war with Ruslan Provodnikov in March 2013 before outboxing slick counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marques in October.
But the native of Palm Springs, Calif., returns April 12 in Las Vegas (HBO PPV) for a second go-around with Pacquiao. Bradley's split-decision victory in their first bout went down as one of the most controversial decisions in modern history.
Talk about the frustration of winning the biggest fight of your life (first fight against Pacquiao) and not getting the recognition that goes with that.
Well as many know the first Pacquiao fight I was just supposed to be another opponent for the great Manny Pacquiao. Not many people gave me a chance to come out victorious especially not after the type of winning streak that he had been on. His previous seven fights Pacquiao had beaten and/or destroyed Juan Manuel Marquez, Sugar Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Oscar de la Hoya.
No one thought I had what it took to beat Manny Pacquiao. So when I did edge out the decision I never got the credit I deserved. I busted my butt in training camp as I always do for any fight but this was the biggest fight in my career so I pushed that much harder to prove to the world that I could beat Manny Pacquiao.
When the decision was announced that I had done enough to beat Manny no one could believe what had happened -- and hardly anyone knew the physical conditions that I had gone through during the fight.
Beating Pacquiao was supposed to be the turning point in who Timothy Bradley really is but instead it became a very dark point and time in my life. The boos turned into hatred and then hatred turned into death threats. I felt I had done enough to beat Paquiao but everyone was out to prove that I hadn't.
This was supposed to be my night but instead it turned into a night where an icon not only lost but was also "robbed" by me. Everyone sat there in shocked without realizing that I had just done what I set myself to do. No one stopped for a second and acknowledge my accomplishment.
Although I am certain I won the fight it is now time to once again show the world who Timothy Bradley really is. On April 12 we will settle for once and for all the uncertainty of boxing followers and those of the fans.
This is my chance at redemption and I promise I will make the most of it.
Nothing can stop me (Posted on March 20)
Discuss 2013 and how your fights against Provodnikov and Marquez solidified you as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
The year 2013 was a great one for me. I started out the year fighting a guy who wasn't very well known outside the boxing community by the name of Ruslan Provodnikov. You might have heard of him by now since our fight was voted fight of the year by the Boxing Writers of America. Ruslan has also gone on to win a junior welterweight title and has moved into many people's top 10 pound-for-pound lists.
My second fight of 2013 was against a current top five pound-for-pound guy that had just come off of the knockout of the year against Manny Pacquiao, the future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez. This fight, unlike the Provodnikov fight, was a chess match and I believe I gave Juan Manuel Marquez a boxing lesson.
With these two fights I was able to show that I can outbox a top-five pound-for-pound boxer and I could also go toe to toe with one of the most feared punchers in the sport. I was able to show the fans that I am a versatile fighter and can box and brawl as needed. I believe that being a top pound-for-pound fighter means that you have to do whatever it takes to win whether it's outbox your opponent or fight your opponent blow for blow in the center of the ring. I am out to prove that I am one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, if not the best.
In my two fights in 2013 I was able to show that I can do it all in the sport of boxing. This next fight will be no different in helping me show the fans that I am top pound for pound in the world. I have a lot to prove and nothing can stop me on my way to being No. 1 in the world.