Timothy Bradley uses calf injury as excuse for loss to Manny Pacquiao

Timothy-Bradley-death-threatsTimothy Bradley said after his unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao Saturday night in Las Vegas that he wasn’t going to make an excuse, but he still made an excuse to explain his loss.

Bradley said after his defeat that he suffered a calf injury after the first round that forced him to change his style.

“It was a very tough fight. Manny came out, did his thing. I did my best in there. I got injured after the first round,” said Bradley. “I injured my calf, had to adjust my style. Had to walk to him, that’s why I got aggressive. I was just trying to end it with one shot.

“I knew if the fight was close I wasn’t getting the decision so I was like I’m better off just trying to knock this guy out.”

This actually does make sense. Watching the fight, it was noticeable that Bradley was taking some huge swings at Pac-Man in the early rounds. Many of us thought that was because he was going for a knockout so there wouldn’t be any complications from the referees. That may have been part of his motivation for the big punches, but he says there was another bigger reason to explain it.

At least he didn’t say he got robbed and gave Pacquiao the credit the Filipino deserved for the undisputed win.

Manny Pacquiao says he won’t leave Timothy Bradley fight to judges

Manny Pacquiao Timothy BradleyManny Pacquiao was already screwed over by the judges in his first fight with Timothy Bradley, so he’s not about to let that happen the second time around.

Pacquiao lost a controversial split decision to Bradley in June 2012. Two judges scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Bradley and the third had it 115-113 in favor of Pacquiao. But most people — including us — felt like Pacquiao won the fight with no dispute.

Whether you believe he will be able to do it or not, Pacquiao says he won’t leave their rematch in the judges’ hands.

“I know what I need to do to win this time round,” Pacquiao said this week.

“Bradley has said that I only fight for money and have lost my hunger but he’s very wrong if he truly believes that. This fight you’re going to see a very aggressive and exciting Manny Pacquiao because I don’t want to leave it to the judges’ scorecards. If I can get the knockout then that’s what I’m going for because I’m going to show the world that the best is yet to come from me.”

That is definitely some weak trash talk from Bradley. Manny hasn’t lost hunger, though he definitely is fighting for money. He looked very good in his November fight with Brandon Rios and did exactly what we would have expected.

I don’t anticipate Pacquiao knocking out Bradley just because that’s difficult to do, so the question again becomes what will the judges do with their decision? That part none of us can answer. You never really know what the plan is.

Pacquiao also sent a tweet along the same lines prior to the fight, which really let’s you know that the plan is to end the fight without leaving it in the judges’ hands:

Timothy Bradley was seriously depressed after beating Manny Pacquiao

Timothy Bradley wheelchair

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.

Manny Pacquiao’s next fight likely to be against Timothy Bradley

Manny Pacquiao Timothy BradleyManny Pacquiao is already making plans for an upcoming fight next year, and his next opponent is likely to be Timothy Bradley.

While promoter Bob Arum was making the rounds this week and telling everyone that Pac-Man vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. needs to happen, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who helps promote Mayweather’s fights, says he hasn’t received a call from his rival promoter about setting up the match. Instead, Arum has actually listed three potential opponents for Pacquiao — none of whom are Mayweather.

Arum told ESPN’s Dan Rafael on Wednesday that Timothy Bradley, Ruslan Provodnikov, and a fifth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez are possibilities for Pacquiao. He says the fight would likely be in April back in the US, which seems to be a sign that the experiment in China did not go as well as hoped.

In an interview with SI’s Chris Mannix, Arum indicated a rematch with Bradley is most likely.

“[Juan Manuel] Marquez isn’t going to fight him,” Arum told Mannix. “I’m not going to get on my knees to get Marquez to do it. Period, he isn’t going to fight him. So I have Bradley, Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov. What I would like to do is if Pacquiao fights Bradley, have Ruslan fight Marquez. That would punish Marquez for refusing to fight Pacquiao.”

Pacquiao and Bradley are Top Rank Promotions fighters, while Marquez is promoted by Mexico-based Zafner Promotions and Arum’s Top Rank. That explains why the same opponents keep being mentioned for Pacquiao — Arum only likes having his fighters go against each other rather than setting up cards that include other promotions’ fighters.

But this actually isn’t a bad idea. I’m not sure how much intrigue there would be for a fifth installment of Pacquiao-Marquez after JMM destroyed Manny last time. And there is some unfinished business between Pac-Man and Bradley after Manny was robbed in a bad decision. Plus, with Bradley beating Marquez in October, there is more allure to him.

If Pacquiao and Bradley meet in Las Vegas in April and Arum sets up a proper promotional tour, I certainly think the fight would sell well. Being in China last time caused them to lose a lot of attention in the US.

Juan Manuel Marquez-Timothy Bradley fight moving to October

Timothy BradleyJuan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley have moved their scheduled fight to October to avoid a conflict with Floyd Mayweather on September 14.

Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotions booked Sept. 14 for the Marquez-Bradley fight even though Mayweather had plans to fight on the same day. Arum said last month that he would move the Marquez-Bradley fight to another date if Mayweather stuck to the September fight date. Mayweather announced on Wednesday that he will face Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 14, so Arum is moving Marquez-Bradley to Oct. 12.

Arum said last month that he was keeping Marquez-Bradley on Sept. 14 in case something happened where Mayweather backed out of the date. Since the middle of September is a big time for Mexicans to fight (Sept. 16 is Mexican Independence Day), Arum wanted to make sure he had that date reserved in case it became available. It was a smart strategy and there was no harm in keeping it just in case.

The fight between Marquez and Bradley will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas with Bradley’s WBO welterweight title on the line.

Timothy Bradley survives knockdown, concussion to beat Ruslan Provodnikov

Timothy BradleyTimothy Bradley overcame a knockdown and what he says was a concussion to beat Ruslan Provodnikov in one of the most exciting fights of the year.

Bradley, who was fighting for the first time since winning a controversial decision over Manny Pacquiao last June, was awarded a unanimous decision victory by the judges. Two judges had the fight 114-113, while the third had it 115-112 in favor of Bradley, who retained his WBO welterweight title.

The two slugged it out for 12 rounds and were left with massive welts and bruises on their faces and bodies. Though Provodnikov won the first two rounds, Bradley rallied in the middle rounds, which is likely where he gained the most points with the judges. He was also lucky that the referee did not rule a knockdown against him in the first round.

Bradley took a monster right, stayed on his feet momentarily, and he fell forward to the canvas a few seconds later. For some reason, the referee did not rule it a knockdown, even though Bradley stumbled back to the ground when he attempted to get up (seen below).

Timothy Bradley canvas

The horrendous decision by the referee could have cost Provodnikov a point on the judges’ cards, which could have resulted in two of them having it a 113-113 draw.

Bradley did officially get knocked down in the final round. He was wobbly after taking a severe beating in the final minute of the fight. Bradley dropped his knee to the canvas with 12 seconds left and got up just before the final bell.

The final punch stats were in Bradley’s favor. He landed 347 of 1000 (35 percent) punches thrown compared to 218 of 676 (32 percent) for Provodnikov, per HBO. He also landed 218 of 511 (43 percent) of power punches, compared to 186 of 514 (36 percent) for Provodnikov.

After the fight, Bradley told HBO’s Max Kellerman that he was concussed early in the fight.

“I think I got a concussion. I know I do,” Bradley said with a giggle. “Without a doubt.

“This guy is a power puncher,” Bradley said of Provodnikov. “He’s a great warrior, and I take my hat off to him. He’ll beat any 140 and 147-pounder out there. He’s the real deal.”

Bradley’s mental state was so bad, he forgot that he had told Kellerman a minute before their interview that he had been concussed.

“What did I say? I forgot,” Bradley said when Kellerman asked him to repeat what he had told him moments earlier.

So, yeah, Bradley overcame a concussion, knockdown, and received a break from the referee to get the win. According to Bryan A. Graham, Bradley will face the winner of Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado. The winner of that fight will likely face the winner of Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez.

Timothy Bradley unimpressed with Manny Pacquiao’s punching power, speed

Timothy Bradley was lucky he was awarded a split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao last weekend, but now he’s just gloating.

“I took his best punch. [Pacquiao's] a good puncher, but Kendall Holt is a better puncher,” Bradley said on The Boxing Lab. “Holt has one-punch knockout power. Pacquiao doesn’t.

“I’ve been in the ring with guys who are faster,” he said.

While Bradley did credit Pacquiao for being smart, throwing good combinations, and having snappy punches, he maintained that Pac Man wasn’t that impressive.

“He couldn’t knock me out. He hurt me once. The majority of the shots he missed,” Bradley says.

All the talk about the fight being fixed and that Bradley was given a gift has him jaded.

“I’m the welterweight champion of the world and it don’t feel like it because people don’t feel like I deserve it. It sucks. It’s not right. I’m not giving my belt back. Period,” he says.

Oh, and what’s Bradley’s motivation for his next fight?

“Whatever makes the most money.”

Yeah, that’s not going to help dispel speculation that the fix was in. Meanwhile, there are talks that Pacquiao may fight Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time instead of Bradley in November.

Bradley sure is talking a big game for a guy who clearly lost. I really don’t care what he says after being gifted a decisions. I watched the fight with the sound off, too, just like he says, and he still lost.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE