March 18th, 2013

By Stephen “Breadman” Edwards , BOXINGTALK.COM

Very seldom does a performance or topic in boxing motivate me enough to write a story. In fact I don’t consider myself a writer, I consider myself a “boxing guy” nothing more. But the place that Tim Bradley went on Saturday night needs to be talked about. The Dark Place.

The backlash that Bradley received following his controversial decision win against icon Manny Pacquiao put him in a dark place. But that’s not the dark place I’m referring to in this piece. I’m talking about that place where you are dog tired and the lactic acid in your muscles is so great you wish your limbs were cut off. That place where you are being hurt every time you are being hit and your legs look like flat tires on a pick up truck. That place where the glory outweighs ALL repercussions because your pride tells you so. The Dark Place.

Bradley is most often compared to Marvelous Marvin Hagler because of their similar physiques and bald heads. But most don’t consider him the prize fighter Hagler is, at least not yet anyway. But for as great as Hagler was and Hagler was truly great, Bradley went in an exclusive club with his performance against Ruslan Providnikov that Hagler is not a member of. I assume Hagler could go to that place, but because his chin was so impenetrable he never had to go there.

Very few fighters in the history of boxing and even fewer over the last 30 years were able to succeed under the duress and violent discomfort Bradley endured. Bradley was severely hurt and almost knocked out in the first and second rounds. I personally believed he was concussed that early in the fight. I say this because simple jabs would knock Bradley around the ring and you could see him fighting to stay conscious, like the tired husband on a movie date.

But Bradley pressed on. To a point where he threw 1000 punches. That’s an insane amount considering the incoming punishment. Tim Bradley was simply “tired”. And I’m not talking about physical fatigue that was obvious. He was tired of people blaming him for the decision he got against Manny Pacquiao. Bradley didn’t judge the fight. Nevertheless he received death threats about a freaking boxing match…