It was one of the biggest upsets of 2012, when Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley was awarded with a split decision following his fight against Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.
That is, if your name is C.J Ross or Duane Ford — the two ringside judges who turned in questionable 115-113 scorecards giving Bradley the nod. Or you had a large bet on Bradley.
For pretty much everyone else, it was one of the greatest robberies in recent boxing history. Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) dominated the vast majority of the encounter, hurting Bradley (31-0-0, 12 KOs) several times. The Filipino congressman would have probably knocked Timothy out if he was a bit more aggressive during their showdown.
Even hardcore Floyd Mayweather fans — who typically show disdain towards anything related to Pacquiao — couldn’t help but admit “Pacman” was robbed.
Still, from now until the end of time, boxing’s history books will say that Timothy Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao on June 9, 2012.
Given the obvious injustice that transpired on that fateful night, Pacquiao’s fans would love to see him exact some revenge. The two weren’t able to reach an agreement following their first fight, but with Pacquiao’s win against Brandon Rios and Bradley’s victory against Juan Manuel Marquez – who knocked Manny out cold six months after the loss to Bradley – negotiations are once again taking place.
Not every member of Team Pacquiao likes the idea of rematch against Bradley though, respected boxing trainer Freddie Roach in particular.
“I want Manny to look good in his next fight, and I think maybe Tim Bradley wants too much money. Plus I think he will run all night and make for a poor showing for Manny,” Roach said during a conversation with Michael Woods. “Ruslan Provodnikov is a better fight for Manny. They are good friends though. I’m trying not to make it happen, but to be honest, it’s probably the best fight for Manny. I’ve seen them spar many times and it is competitive.”
It’s hard to disagree with Roach’s stance that Pacquiao vs. Provodnikov will likely be a more entertaining bout, but that doesn’t necessarily make it Manny’s best option. Bradley isn’t exactly a household name, but the notoriety he gained with his controversial win against the Filipino statesman has already created the demand for a rematch.
It’s hard to see Filipino boxing fans passing up the opportunity to watch their national hero avenge what most in the boxing community agree was a grave injustice.
There’s no such storyline with Provodnikov, who isn’t very popular with casual fans of the sweet science either, and he likely won’t be an easier challenge for Pacquiao.