People were understandably outraged when two judges handed Timothy Bradley an undeserved victory over Manny Pacquiao.
They were mad in the seconds after that awful, awful decision was announced. They stayed mad in the following days. And the anger, really, hasn’t subsided all that much now even though nearly a month has passed.
It’s hard to forget a trainwreck.
That decision, in all its awfulness, managed to simultaneously do three things: 1.) unfairly tarnish the Filipino champion’s record, 2.) give boxing its latest black eye, and 3.) put Bradley in the line of fire for something that wasn’t really his fault.
The first two things have gotten a lot of press over the last few weeks – the third one hasn’t.
In all honesty, there are a lot of irksome things about Bradley. His ducking of Amir Khan back in the day, for one. Then there was the way he leveraged his signing with Top Rank into a fight versus Pacquiao that he didn’t really deserve yet. And, of course, there has been his woe is me act in the aftermath of that undeserved June 9 victory.
All that said, despite his somewhat exasperating qualities, Bradley appears to be a good guy. Everyone who deals with him, everyone who knows him, they all maintain that he’s one of the most genuine people in the sport. And so, because of that, it’s a little hard to take in stuff like this (via Boxing Scene):
Tim Bradley and his team, specifically trainer Joel Diaz, who has claimed to have received death threats in wake of the controversial bout, have both admitted that it has been hard to savor a victory with so much backlash still coming in.
Arum was questioned as to whether he felt sympathy for Team Bradley for being caught up in the negativity but he wasn’t exactly heartbroken.
“I feel sorry for them too but there are victories and there are victories,” claimed Arum, being sly with his response.
That report, of course, was referring to an interview that Bradley gave to ESPN Radio Chicago with Waddle and Silvy less than a week after his victory over Pacquiao. Per that interview (via USA Today):
Bradley on death threats:
"Definitely on Facebook and Twitter, reading people's comments, e-mails and people are sending me like death threats, telling me to die, telling me to give the belt back, 'if you're a man' and all this hate mail. Just people being really rude like I'm the one to blame. 'If you're a real champion and want any respect from me then you'd give the belt back.' ... I deserve the belt. I won the fight regardless of what anyone thinks....Don't be pointing the finger at me, don't be sending me crazy e-mails and things like that because I really don't care."
That’s taking it too far. Say what you will about the horrendousness of Bradley’s win, but he didn’t put a gun to those judges’ heads. It’s not his fault, no matter what anyone says.
Could he be a bit more cognizant of the fact that no one thinks he should have beaten Pacquiao? Sure. But is that he isn’t reason enough to lob death threats his way?
Perspective, folks. It’s important.