Timothy Bradley couldn’t let one day go by without lobbing a shot in Manny Pacquiao’s general direction. Following his impressive victory over Ruslan Provodnikov on Saturday night, Bradley made it a point to mention that his prior opponent didn’t punch anywhere nearly as hard as the 29-year-old rising star who had just engaged him in battle for 12 brutal rounds.
After an eight month layoff, Bradley made his highly anticipated return to the ring this weekend. Unlike in his previous bout, this time around the 29-year-old champ didn’t hesitate to mix it up with his opponent. And despite the fact that he got absolutely rocked on numerous occasions throughout the match, Bradley showed tons of heart and perseverance en route to a much-deserved decision victory.
While a surprising amount of people walked away from the proceedings unsure of whether Bradley earned the nod or not, it’s sort of difficult to see why that was the case. He was clearly the aggressor, and he was far more accurate with his shots than Provodnikov was. Did the latter fighter offer up more highlights? Maybe. Did Bradley get a little assist from the referee? Obviously. But all in all, he fought the better match.
After the bout, Bradley offered words of praise for Provodnikov – which of course had to come at the expense of Pacquiao.
"He's a very strong puncher because he steps into his punches," Bradley said. "He hits very hard. He hits much harder than Pacquiao because his punches are shorter and tighter."
It’s no secret that Pacquiao lacks knockout power at this stage of his career. There is a reason why he hasn’t put anyone down since 2009, and why he wasn’t able to finish off a clearly hobbled Bradley last year. That being said, it’s still pretty funny that on his night, with the eyes of the boxing world on him and nobody else, Bradley still opted to name drop his Filipino rival and remind everyone of how undeserved his last victory was.