The world thought he lost, he thought he won, and only a handful of judges and media members out of hundreds of viewers agreed with the controversial decision. It was a matter of the right people, or wrong I should say, being in the correct place at the correct time, or wrong place at the wrong time, to cause one of the most controversial decisions in the history of boxing. Two judges, Duane Ford and C.J Ross, who had a history of questionable scoring throughout their careers just happen to be both scoring the Pacquiao-Bradley showdown in June of 2012. Both judges turned in bogus cards of 115-113 that saw Timothy Bradley raising his hand in June of 2012 where he defeated Manny Pacquiao in one of the worst decisions in boxing history. Ironically, both judges are no longer judging in the sport of boxing.
“I was treated as though I lost the fight.” Bradley said as he prepares to once again square off against Manny Pacquiao on April 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, two years after death threats and fans bashed Bradley into hiding, and made him wonder if he was ever going to fight again. “I thought I won 8 rounds to 4.” The undeniable truth that Bradley seems to have convinced himself otherwise of is that he did in fact lose the fight, and should have been treated like he did. I don’t agree with the way the media bashed him, and the way he was threatened by people after the fight. He shouldn’t have had to go into hiding or think about never boxing again because of an incompetent decision at the hands of the judges. But Bradley did in fact lost the first fight and by a large margin. I, like many people, had it 118-110 for Pacquiao.
All that is over now, and as we are two weeks away from a rematch that two years ago no boxing fan would have ever watched, the Pacquiao-Bradley II fight is considered one of the most highly anticipated rematches that we have seen in years. Bradley came back from that Pacquiao fiasco in spectacular fashion with very close decision wins in 2013 over Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao showed his vulnerability after getting KO’ed by Marquez six months after his fight with Bradley, and came back in 2013 as he beat Brandon Rios in a lopsided victory.
“I need to go show the world that I beat Manny Pacquiao in the first fight and that I will do it again.” Bradley said on HBO Face Off. He is indeed right. This time though he has something behind him that he may not have had in the first fight, fans and confidence. All of the negatives of the first fight have been buried and even fans who swore boxing off after the controversial letdown are now eager to see a Pacquiao-Bradley II showdown. Bradley has been praised since his Fight of the Year fight victory over Ruslan Provodnikov where he dug deep after being hurt over and over again to pull out a very close unanimous decision. He gained even more respect by beating the legendary Juan Manuel Marquez in a split decision victory that I felt should have been an easy unanimous decision win in Bradley’s favor. Up until then, Marquez’s only losses in the last seven years had been to Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
It’s not the same Timothy Bradley entering the ring in 2014 to face Manny Pacquiao that entered the ring in 2012 to face him. He’s been through hell and back. He was forced to endure threats, hate, and vows by fans to never watch him fight again. It took a brutal war with Ruslan Provodnikov for the fans to begin to show him some respect, and a win over Marquez to get the believers to keep believing. He’s more confident now, he’s endured suffering, and according to him he’s coming right for Manny Pacquiao. He wants to show the world that he’s one of the top three best pound for pound fighter’s in the world.
“I’ll go toe to toe. I’ll box. I’ll do whatever it takes to win this fight. He’s going to have to kill me.” Bradley is convinced of that. And judging by what we have seen in the last year there is no denying that he %100 believes it. When a fighter is riding a wave of confidence like the one Bradley is, who can still make himself believe that his foot injuries in the first fight made him vulnerable, it is very hard to beat him. Bradley is looking for redemption, and I think that he found it in 2013. But this is a different type of redemption. This is the rematch of a fight that nearly retired him. A fight that nearly ruined his boxing career. It means everything to him. So I believe him when he says he’s going to do whatever it takes to win this fight. One quote from Bradley sticks out in this fight, and win or lose, there is not denying it.
“This is going to be a great fight.”