Only the Lonely: Tim Bradley Without Manny Pacquiao

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With yesterday’s press conference announcing the final chapter in the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez quadrilogy, December 8th should find this rivalry renewed under the lights of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It was on that same blue canvas that Pacquiao suffered a split-decision loss to Tim Bradley in June. It was his first defeat since March of 2005, when Erik Morales’ belligerent craft trumped the Filipino’s fury. Pacquiao would avenge the loss to Morales twice via knockout, reducing the defeat to the exception confirming the rule in a roughshod assault that produced fifteen consecutive victories in five weight divisions. Unlike Morales, Bradley is being denied a rematch.

The loss of a 10-million dollar payday has Bradley understandably upset. Here is an incredulous Bradley in an interview with The Desert Sun: “I can’t believe it. Any champion who lost his belt, you would want to redeem yourself.” His frustration getting the best of him, the normally polite fighter resorted to some rather puerile mud slinging, calling Pacquiao “chicken shit” in the same interview. It says here there’s a modicum of truth in Bradley’s accusation. While the pitchforks and torches were wielded with vigor in the aftermath of Bradley’s controversial decision over Pacquiao, that Bradley performed as well as he did on two bad ankles, and that his effectiveness was rewarded by the judges—despite going either ignored or undetected by a particularly partisan HBO broadcast team—might give Pacquiao pause. Moreover, Bradley stands to improve on his performance in a rematch if for no other reason than it’s unlikely he suffers similar injuries. But a rematch is not in the cards, and not simply because of the legitimate threat Bradley presents.

Merit in boxing is multifarious: there is merit in professionalism, merit in ability, in resilience, aesthetic, even in atavism. There is also financial merit, and while Bradley is an exemplary prizefighter, he sorely lacks the crucial financial element. Rather inexplicably, Bradley doesn’t resonate among the African-American community; aesthetically, his name has become almost taboo. While Marquez can sweeten the pot with money generated through Mexican television rights and a raucous caravan of traveling fans, Bradley brings little more than an honest effort and the dubious distinction of being “the man who beat the man” to the bargaining table. Perhaps the disillusioned Bradley should reach out to Shane Mosley—another disappointed usurper—in coming to grips with a cold reality of the cruelest sport: It is glacial, yet however beautifully the violence towers above, it is three times as deep in business below the surface.

Moreover, there are few options available for Bradley. He has expressed an interest in fighting Floyd Mayweather, but the feud between Top Rank and Golden Boy (assuming Mayweather allows GBP to bankroll his next fight) scuttles that match up. Ditto for Victor Ortiz, Marcos Maidana, and many of Bradley’s prospects at junior middleweight, as Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, and Lucas Matthysse all fight under the GBP banner. There is surely no interest in an Alexander rematch, except perhaps as filler for the pages of a penny dreadful. A Bradley – Brook fight is intriguing, but promoter Eddie Hearn probably sees that as a bridge too far for the developing Sheffield fighter. Paulie Malignaggi is fighting Pablo Cesar Cano at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 20th. Ricky Hatton—far enough removed from the night Pacquiao turned his last name into a synonym for “pole-axed”—isn’t going to tackle someone of Bradley’s caliber right out of retirement. Andre Berto is targeting Cornelius Bundrage, the name Jan Zaveck is likely to be met with a furrowed brow and shaken head, and Lamont Peterson, who’s rough tussle with Bradley in 2009 elevated both men’s standing in the sport, is looking at Zab Judah.

Bradley will make an easy defense of his WBO candy necklace before ratcheting up the competition. The belt doesn’t help him, nor does the intangible distinction of having beaten the man—especially since so few believe he actually won. His own promoter has seemingly abandoned him, Arum having rattled his saber at the decision in June, and done nothing to support Bradley since. One imagines Arum thinking that giving Bradley the Pacquiao fight after paying him seven figures to bump coconuts with Cuban curmudgeon Joel Casamayor more than absolves the octogenarian huckster of future responsibilities. Besides, an unremarkable opponent is precisely what Arum needs to keep Bradley in line for the winner (or loser) of the upcoming Pacquiao-Marquez fight.

As it stands, for all his accomplishments Tim Bradley is like the last man at the bar—left with whatever suitors are around when the lights go up and the drinks are cleared. He is an undefeated champion reduced to taking what he can get.

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Topics: Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, TIM BRADLEY

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  • ETWarf

    Bradley did not win that fight nor was he remotely a threat to Pacman. What are you talking about? But you are right, he does not make dollars sense so why waste time with him? Pac has nothing to prove against Bradley. It’s different with Marquez though…

    • Jimmy Tobin

      Hi ETW,

      Bradley did indeed win the fight according to the judges, which means
      something despite all the outrage (at least as much as Pacquiao’s two
      close nods over Marquez.) People I respect a great deal, Bart Barry and
      Thomas Hauser, scored the fight for Bradley as well. And if Bradley
      wasn’t remotely a threat, why didn’t he go the way of David Diaz
      (annihilated) or Shane Mosley (embarrassed)? Pacquiao seemed on the
      verge of getting rid of Bradley halfway through the fight, but something
      changed, and I refuse to believe Bradley had nothing to do with that. I
      also refuse to relinquish belief that perception of the action was
      strongly influenced by a brutal performance by Lampley and co that
      night. So, yeah, I think Pacquiao has unfinished business with Bradley
      if for no other reason than the guy hung an L on him. Where’s the sense
      of get back? Vengeance is not a waste of time! Look at the end of Return
      of the Jedi! But this is really all yesterday’s news, and something
      people aren’t willing to shift their perspective on…

      What does Pacquiao have to prove against Marquez? That he can win
      another close, disputed decision? Everybody already knows that shit.
      It’s the smart play, and I get it (shit, I’ll even get excited a couple
      weeks before it happens), but I’m a Bradley guy, so I think it’s
      unfortunate he gets no credit for a win he didn’t submit a scorecard
      for, and no opportunity to prove he can do it again…and no 10 million
      bucks…and no big fight on the horizon…and no support from his
      promoter…and he had to sit around waiting for Pacquiao to make up mind
      (because obviously he couldn’t miss out on a rematch)…and all of that
      is the nature of the beast. Sometimes the beast sucks, is all.

      • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.moon.391 Aaron Moon

        umm…its all about the $$$ and you cant blame fighters for it.Bradley did the same thing and he avoided amir khan only difference is that bradley wasnt sure to get pacquiao at that time. Thats a big difference and you can blame bradley for that. But If pacquiao is getting more money to fight marquez ..who are you to blame him?..specially if you know anything about boxing there is no way pacquiao lost that fight. And thats besides the point, only person pacquiao needs to prove himself against is..and his name is not tim bradley ..its floyd mayweather to to seal his legacy and his legendary carreer.You like pacquiao or not you can not alter this truth

        • Jimmy Tobin

          I’m not blaming Pacquiao for not taking the Bradley fight (though I think he sees it as too tough to take the poorly compensated risk on). Besides, this isn’t about Pacquiao, though I knew the worms would come out if they thought I rained at all on their beloved icon.

      • dyolens

        You really believe that? Why then are all his bantering have no effect whatsoever towards the direction of Pacquiao? Because it’s all lies which only he, the judges and their friends and families believe. The whole world knows otherwise and couldn’t care less! Thomas Hauser and who? Well, dig into their motivations..

        • Jimmy Tobin

          Believe what? “That”? I’ve been known to believe “this” too. Can you imagine “that”? The whole world knows otherwise huh? Maybe you need to dig into your motivations.

          • vince_bugaboo

            What you’ve been trying to sell about bradley is all the “That” that dyolens means, and he’s right in being incredulous.

          • Jimmy Tobin

            I’m not selling anything about Bradley. I’m describing the reality of his current situation.

      • vince_bugaboo

        10 million bucks for bradley, if the course of events turned out differently, is a mouth-watering hallucination for you and your fraudulent guy.

  • ACC

    If Bradley wants a rematch with Pac, first thing he do, he should vacate the post or return the belt he stole from pac

    • Jimmy Tobin

      Bradley didn’t steal a belt. He fought a fight, and was given a decision he felt he deserved. And he had a rematch clause in his contract, so it’s reasonable to expect it to be honoured, especially when HE was awarded the victor in the first fight.

      • Raymond

        To take the belt away for a champion, you need to dominate that champion and earn that belt. Bradley was handed that belt. I find it ridiculous that Bradley feels he beat Pacquaio. If his case was true, then everyone and there mama would want a piece of Bradley.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.villacruzis Robert Villacruzis

    English anyone? The writer must have a PhD in literary arts LOL Kidding aside, Bradley must live with it. I understand it’s money down the drain but he just came out chasing Pacquiao in a wrong way. If you believe you’re the champ then let contenders call you out. Pacquiao is done with Bradley. Enough said.

    • Jimmy Tobin

      I agree that Bradley has to live with it, and it’s hard to criticize the rules of a game that have benefited you in the past. Waiting for people to call him out isn’t the most lucrative approach, though his hands are certainly tied at this point. Pacquiao is probably done with Bradley, so hopefully Marquez wins and gives ol’ Tim a shot.

      • vince_bugaboo

        assuming marquez will win over pac, bradley still doesn’t deserve a fight with marquez for the simple factual reason that he is an obnoxious fraud. and i said he is one obnoxious fraud because he keeps boasting to people that he won when he knows it’s the opposite, and that kind of attitude is tantamount to dishonesty and hypocrisy. truth be told, he could have gotten the rematch had he not let his big mouth run off. as it turned out, his non-stop gag-inducing tattle exasperated pac and his fans and that surely influenced the turn of events re the choice of pac’s opponent, believe it or not! in other words, bradley swallowed a lot of large green flies!

  • Leo John Quiachon

    TB should have stayed HUMBLE after receiving the gift of his life. He took a different route and got lost . Now the thirst is biting him so bad not thinking beforehand that it rains very seldom in the desert. Whether it’s a drought or karma, he fully deserves this.

  • dyolens

    Hahaha! Pathetic paper champion who stole the crown with the aid of his promoter who now abandoned him, thinking it’s worth its weight in gold but found rubbish boomeranging in his face instead from the unsavory words he has flung against Pacquiao. Hahahahaha

  • Israel

    “I already beat Bradley,” Pacquiao said (via Yahoo! Sports). “Everyone knows it. I just didn’t get my hand raised.”

    • Jimmy Tobin

      That settles it then, doesn’t it?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2LDHCNMZHPXWZGJIMN5LZSOELE Arturo

    Winning by punching into the air,, What magic…

  • taga tuy

    poor bradley, be true to yourself. watch the fight again and you will know why you left alone

    • vince_bugaboo

      he doesn’t even have to watch it; he’ll just have to ask his trainer, manager, waterboy, children, his parents, wife, in-laws, neighbors, even buboy and pacquiao and jinkee, and they’ll all tell him he lost by 17 miles!

    • Jimmy Tobin

      Great point, totally forgot about the value of being true to yourself. Thanks!

  • Bahoogtae12

    Right, real champions are called ut by challengers. And besides, PAC does not entertain trash talkers especially without contents (Bradley’s claim). Marquez is a legit contender and he has all the priviledge of claiming that he won the previous 3 fights due to his actual performance and not just words. I’m both a PAC and Marquez fan. If I score the 3 fights, Pac won the first, Marquez won the second and Pac won the 3rd.

  • vince_bugaboo

    in short, this fraud ( bradley) is cursed and this curse is his comeuppance for being a fraud. i say, good riddance, thick-skinned hypocrite!!! i hope you land a fight but it will be against your mother-in-law!

    • Guest

      Noun1.developmentally challenged – people collectively who are mentally retarded; “he started a school for the retarded”
      mentally retarded, retarded

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LXHFNVM6EWNBWXTVDCQLPLKNUI Jess

    Pacquiao beat Bradley like a rented slave

  • Billy Rubin

    What is Bradley going to do in their rematch? Duck & weave all night long? Slap Pacquiao with his pus$y-like punches? Bradley’s muscles are just for show. All bulk & no power behind those muscles. Boxing fans should watch HBO’s 24/7 Pacquiao-Bradley a second time. Everyone will see Bradley practicing his duck & weave for scared pus$y strategy in the entire boxing ring while being encouraged by his trainer. Only a cowardly scared pus$y would do such a thing. Bradley knows he’s going to be a scared duck & weave pus$y in their fight, so he’s going to compensate by talking tough & talking trash! And fans thought that Bradley’s one of the class acts in boxing. Class act my as$!

    • Jimmy Tobin

      Your use of $ is $tupid.

      • Billy Rubin

        And that’s all you can say, which obviously means you totally agree that Bradley looks like Hercules but punches like an 80-year-old grandma & a duck & weave all night long scared PUSSY! There, no more $!

        • Billy Rubin

          Bradley’s Pre-Fight Strategy: 1.Act tough. 2.Talk trash 3.Intimidate Pacquiao 4.Flex Hercules-like muscles often 5.Say “I’m gonna knock Pacquiao out!” repeatedly.

          Bradley’s Fight Strategy In The Ring: 1.Slap Pacquiao in flurries to make it look like a competitive fight. Slap in flurries to cover up lack of punching power. 2.Duck & weave all night long, all 12 rounds. 3.Lots of backpedaling like riding a bike in reverse. 4.Lots of hugging to avoid getting knocked down or out.

          Bradley’s Post-Fight Strategy: 1.”Fuck! Both of my feet are broken. I must be a beast & a warrior by fighting with broken feet!” 2.”I’ve got broken feet but hey watch me stand on the ropes while I celebrate!” 3.Sit on a wheelchair while doing the post-fight press conference. 4.Continue talking trash & intimidating Pacquiao.

          • Jimmy Tobin

            Okay, here’s why what your saying is irrelevant: because the entire article is about what Bradley has to do now that Pacquiao isn’t a viable option. But hey, if you want to grind your Bradley axe, I guess that’s your perogative. And how exactly would a guy who slapped Pacquiao, backpeddled, and hugged his way out of a knockout intimidate Pacquiao exactly? Oh, and ducking and weaving are GOOD things. Ditto for throwing combinations when you’re not a big puncher. And whatever you saw, the judges saw it reasonable to score the fight for Bradley. Maybe he should’ve come into the fight with his ass in the air, cheeks spread, and thanking everyone for the opportunity? But even me writing this is retarded because it’s pandering to the personal grudge of a troll gone blind from masterbation. I blame diffusion.

  • scott christianson

    Hey JT,

    Damn, I thought I hated Bradley.

    I am certainly not a Bradley fan, but I can at least respect the way he fought against Pac. Everyone, including myself, destroyed Bradley in the lead up because of his abnormally destructive dome and the potential to ruin a PPV it had. Never really became an issue in the fight and I think that was on purpose on his part. As far as Bradley fights go, it was a decent fight. For Pac, not so much. He likes to “fight for the people” and is generally exciting in the ring because of it and this fight was not at that level.

    While I was not a fan of another Pac-Bradley II fight being made, it was certainly one of the obvious choices for this go round. Thinking back to the day after the first fight, everyone was saying the outcome was rigged to setup the exact rematch that Pac avoided here. If the decision was so terrible, which it was not (I had it Pac 7 Bradley 5 or something), why not take the easy work of a rematch, make another 30 million and move on, easy W. Certainly an easier task than solving the Marquez puzzle.

    Bradley made his own bed though when he signed with Top Rank for his chance at the Pac fight, which he got. What he overlooked was that when/if he beat Pac, he would automatically become the next A side. Not the case at all. Now, he looks stuck with an eventual mandatory, some more lost momentum, and an unknown future, he should be used to it though with all his years with Gary Shaw.

    Scott C

    • Jimmy Tobin

      Hi Skillz, I’m not sure these shoulder-biters hate Bradley so much as
      fear becoming impotent if they can’t get Rah-Rah over their idol.

      I figured Bradley would wield his dome in that fight too. But he didn’t.
      And for a guy who supposedly got obliterated, he did enough to win five
      rounds in my eyes. Did Pac just decide he wasn’t going to “give
      happiness to the people” that night? Hardly – Bradley was having
      success.

      I totally agree regarding the rationale for taking the “easy” rematch.
      Marquez has clearly proven problematic, while apparently Bradley has
      not. But then, if you go by the dull slugs in this comment section, it’s
      because Bradley was disrespectful or some other patent fanboy bullshit.

      I feel for the guy, who probably figured (rightly) that a Pacquiao win
      could be a springboard. But in the end, he got paid like never before,
      is probably going to get either Marquez or Pacquiao in the future, and
      just has to give up dreams of being a superstar…which isn’t what it
      used to be. *ahem” Chad Dawson *ahem*

      • scott christianson

        It is weird that Bradley has won two “star making” fights over the last couple of years in the Pac fight and the Alexander fight which got a huge push from HBO and all he came out of both with was a stalled career. Weird, but your right, he’s sure to get either the winner or the loser of the Pac-Marquez 4 fight, just needs to wait it out.

        • Jimmy Tobin

          He didn’t get a definitive win in either fight, too. Might have to come to the realization that he’ll always be a B-Side.