Timothy Bradley beat Manny Pacquiao by a controversial split decision in June 2012. You would have thought that he would have been thrilled after the win. After all, he remained undefeated, beat a high-profile opponent, and he was going to command some respect finally.
But none of that happened.
Instead, Bradley was harassed about how he didn’t really win the fight and received insults and death threats over social media. He felt embarrassed over being in a wheelchair to let his hurt feet recover from the fight.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix described the depression he fell into after the fight:
Members of his team describe a man in the throes of a deep depression. After he recovered, Bradley showed little interest in going to the gym. He ballooned to 185 pounds, a staggering weight for a fighter who routinely keeps himself in top shape. He didn’t return phone calls or text messages.
Bradley snapped out of it and got back in the gym. He’s fought twice since then, defeating Ruslan Provodnikov by unanimous decision and Juan Manuel Marquez in another split decision. He still has a lot to prove when he fights Pacquiao a second time.
I’m sure most people can relate to Bradley and have been in his position before. The thing is you usually don’t feel that way after reaching such a high accomplishment in your field. But with Bradley, the accomplishment was not at all how he would have hoped it would have gone, which probably explains why he felt badly.
Bradley still doesn’t have all the respect in the sport that you would figure someone who is 31-0 would receive. To me there’s a whole bunch of reasons to explain that: he’s not a fun and exciting fighter, he used to headbutt opponents too much, and he lost the fight to Pacquiao. About the only thing that could really turn around his reputation is if he destroys Manny with a knockout punch the way Marquez did. And I don’t think that’s going to happen.Google+