Everyone knew that Timothy Bradley would react poorly to not getting a rematch versus Manny Pacquiao, but nobody knew he would react this poorly. Then again, given how awfully he has handled everything since his June 9 victory, it probably shouldn’t come as such a shock.
On Thursday, Pacquiao and his team confirmed to various media outlets that they had decided on Juan Manuel Marquez as their opponent for a December fight. The news wasn’t especially surprising given the whispers we had heard all week, but it was nice to finally get something official. Well, scratch that. It was nice for some of us.
Bradley, the other finalist for an end-of-year bout versus Pacquiao, didn’t think it was so nice. In an interview with Leighton Ginn of The Desert Sun, he absolutely exploded.
"I can't believe these guys," he said. "He didn't want any part of me. Marquez is an easier fight. He knows that a fight with me and two good legs is going to be hell.
"I can't believe it. Any champion who lost his belt, you would want to redeem yourself."
In theory, Bradley is right. Any champion who loses his belt should want to redeem himself. The only problem with his sentiment is that he’s ignoring how blatantly Pacquiao got robbed last June. Nobody outside of two inept judges actually felt as though he had really lost the belt, so, because of that, nobody felt as though he needed to redeem himself.
Plus, the idea that Bradley would pose a tougher match-up for Pacquiao than Marquez is laughable. Marquez has pushed Pacquiao to the edge of defeat in three out of three fights – Bradley couldn’t even do it in one.
Not that the facts stopped Bradley during his rant to the Sun, though…
"What the public needs to know is Pacquiao, their No. 1 dude, doesn't care about his loss," Bradley said. "You need to redeem yourself because Tim Bradley beat you. You need to come back and redeem that loss.
"In my eyes, chicken (expletive), chicken, chicken, chicken. I'm too much for these boys, man."
Yup, he’s too much for Pacquiao. That was the problem.
According to CompuBox, when Pacquiao and Bradley fought a few months back, Pacquiao landed 253 of his 751 punches, Bradley landed 159 of his 839 punches. On top of that, Pacquiao landed 190 power punches, Bradley landed 108 power punches. By any reasonable measure, statistical or the eye test, Pacquiao won.
The real reason Bradley didn’t get selected is because he’s a relatively awful draw. (At least for a big name fighter.) The difference between what Pacquiao-Bradley did and what Pacquiao-Marquez III did is enormous. And running his mouth isn’t going to win Bradley any new fans.
Frankly, Bradley should see this as a second chance. If Pacquiao had opted to exercise his rematch clause, Bradley simply would’ve gotten destroyed for the second consecutive time and his career would've taken a serious hit. This way, he avoids getting discredited and is actually in a position to fight someone more on his level.
(Kudos The Desert Sun)