On June 9th, 2012, Manny Pacquiao would step into the ring with the gutsy, yet lightly regarded, challenger, Timothy Bradley, 29-0, 12 KO’s. Over twelve rounds, the two fought relatively evenly, with Manny seeming to get the better of it overall. It wasn’t a great performance by either man, but it showed the resolve in Bradley and the diminishing skills and interest in Pacquiao. The split decision nod to Bradley wasn’t the highway robbery that it was made out to be, but the end result can certainly be debated.
The victory did nothing to help push the career of Bradley. Manny refused a rematch, Juan Manuel Marquez didn’t answer his phone and Floyd Mayweather, JR., was tied up. Bradley came out of obscurity to fight Pacquiao and found his way back into it immediately after, despite his victory.
The Bradley victory was so shocking to some that a smear campaign was born. Some “writers” that are better described as “groupie journalists” went on record and demanded a change of decision. Bart Howard of “Eating Jabs and More” came forward on June 10th, 2012, with the following comments: “Manny is humble. He is a God-fearing Christian and they have purposely have gone against him because of this fact. God bless him. Bradley DID NOT win that fight. He is your typical anti-Filipino noodle dick. Nice try fellas (judges). You will be exposed! Manny Pacquiao is the greatest of all time. That’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it.” Well, as you can see, there are plenty of idiots out there firmly attached to the jock of Pacquiao.
This Saturday night, Bradley finally steps back into the ring and is facing Ruslan Provodnikov, 22-1, 15 KO’s, a tough fighter that is making a big step up in this fight. Ruslan holds a victory over an old DeMarcus Corley (UD-12), but other than that, his record is not that impressive. We will see what he brings to the ring when he faces the proven commodity in Bradley.
Saturday night, on HBO, Bradley and Provodnikov will go to battle. Hopefully Bradley will get another notable fight should he overcome this challenge. Boxing isn’t a fair game and it is a shame to see somebody punished for winning a fight. He will have his hands full, but expect the undefeated warrior to beat Provodnikov with his will by wide decision.