Timothy Bradley and redemption in boxing

Andre Cristiano Roar Rookie

By Andre Cristiano, Andre Cristiano is a Roar Rookie


7 Have your say

    Related coverage

    Attempting to explain the merit of boxing to the unenlightened, regardless of how well conveyed, rarely bears fruit.

    The occasional success depends heavily on getting your audience to accept the simple fact that there is more to boxing than meets the eye.

    From this point forward it becomes possible to explain, for instance, that boxing can be seen as a microcosm of life and its challenges; an example of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

    Or that having a favourite boxer doesn’t just mean appreciating their capacity as an athlete but identifying with their character as a fighter.

    The list of boxing’s veiled intricacies goes on.

    On Sunday in Carson, Timothy Bradley turned in a performance that transcended sport and served to remind observers of boxing’s unequaled propensity to reflect the most human of struggles.

    For Bradley the fight against Ruslan Provodnikov meant far more than the chance to defend his WBO Welterweight title, rather it offered him the opportunity for redemption. An objective far more elusive than victory, especially in boxing.

    Bradley sought redemption for failing to engage Manny Pacquiao in their June 2012 bout but even more-so because, despite the lacklustre performance, the judges awarded Bradley a split decision victory.

    Bradley himself has admitted that he probably would have been better off had he lost that fight. Following the bout he received death threats from fans, found it near impossible to secure any high profile opponents and watched the lustre of his star fade dramatically.

    Whether the backlash was warranted is of secondary concern, the central issue is Bradley’s desire to atone for his previous display and his understanding of exactly the kind of performance required to do so.

    Redemption in boxing is notoriously hard to attain. It is not necessarily achieved through victory, rather it is earned in much the same way it is beyond the boxing ring.

    Admission of guilt, a display of remorse and most importantly the desire to make amends for your actions. Bradley’s performance against Provodnikov proved conclusively that he is not the fighter we saw in the ring against Pacquiao.

    Rather he is the special kind of fighter who has the audacity to go out of his way to prove a point.

    The fight against Provodnikov needn’t have been so difficult for Bradley. Had he fought at a distance and used his athleticism and speed to score points the fight may have gone the way of most other Bradley fights. Yet, he appeared to consciously engage Provodnikov at all costs in an attempt to express his remorse for backing down against Pacquiao.

    There was not a single trace of cowardice in Bradley’s approach to his last fight and what is more remarkable is his decision to fight with such reckless abandon when he could easily have elected for a safer option.

    To put yourself on the line in such a manner is one thing when it’s all you know, but to dismiss the easier alternative in favour of an immeasurably more difficult option takes the kind of courage the boxing public had decided Bradley did not have.

    The extent of the fallout from the Pacquiao flop may have been warranted. There is, however, no room to dispute the success of Bradley’s shot at redemption.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (7)

    • March 26th 2013 @ 6:37am
      Frankie Hughes said | March 26th 2013 @ 6:37am | ! Report

      Sorry what fight was you watching?

      Bradley got the hell beaten out of him and the fight should’ve been stopped in the 2nd round.

      Bradley is a fraud and a bum.

      After Guerrero beats Mayweather, he’ll smash Bradley’s face in.

      • March 26th 2013 @ 7:03am
        Andre Cristiano said | March 26th 2013 @ 7:03am | ! Report

        You’re missing the point. Bradley did get his faced smashed in and yes, the fight probably should have been stopped in the second round – but these just further demonstrate my argument. This isn’t about Bradley being the best fighter in the world, it’s about whether or not Bradley is the scared fighter he was in the Pacquiao fight.

        Bradley was crucified for not having the balls to fight Pacquiao toe-to-toe. To make up for it he needed to do more than just win, he needed show that he wasn’t scared.

        He took some massive blows in the Provodnikov fight and did not back down one bit.

        • March 26th 2013 @ 8:17am
          Frankie Hughes said | March 26th 2013 @ 8:17am | ! Report

          Provodnikov is a career junior welterweight, so Bradley had a natural size advantage

          You gotta remember Bradley at 140 was massive.

          So Bradley may have thought he could trade with a smaller fighter.

          Bradley has been vastly overrated. He shows nothing to warrant the hype.

          • April 6th 2013 @ 12:57pm
            Adam V said | April 6th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            Bradley is definitely not a fraud or a bum. The dude has beaten everybody put in front of him. He lost to Pacquiao, but it definitely wasn’t the worst decision I have seen given out (see Rios v Abril). Didn’t deserve what he got.

            Provodnikov is a big 140pounder, and Bradley is actually a career 140 pounder as well. He only moved up in weight for the pay day against Pacquiao.

            Definitely not overrated. Vastly under rated, he has a resume most world champions these days would dream of….Vasquez, Cherry, Holt, Peterson, Casamayor, Alexander, Abregu, Pacquiao….. what more do you want from a fighter???

    • March 26th 2013 @ 10:11am
      The Grafter said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      Better judges than me also thought Provodnikov did enough to win.

      That being true, it appears Bradley is the new ‘chosen one’ with jubious ‘wins’ in his last two fights. I would
      think if the fights were outside the States, his last two fights would be defeats. However, any fighter that can get back
      up and go on is made of the right stuff.

      A massive month ahead in boxing starting this weekend with Rios v Alvarado 11 then one of my favourite
      fighters Saul Alverez v unbeaten (and coulld of been Mundines opponent last year) Austin Trout into the double world title bill featuring Mayweather v Guerrero. Like Frankie Im hoping The Ghost will do the job, with Alverez being to strong for the soft handed Trout, and Rios winning a second war this Sunday.

      • March 26th 2013 @ 10:25am
        Frankie Hughes said | March 26th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        I’m really like forward to Rios-Alvarado 2

        The first was a barnstormer. Both fighter not taking a backwards step.

        I think Rios has too much for Alvarado.

        Rios is being lined up to fight Juan Manuel Marquez on Mexican Indepence Day.

        I’ve gotta admit that I think Saul ‘El Canelo’ Alvarez is slightly overrated at present for my liking. He’s not really fought anyone outstanding. Trout is technically very good. It’s gonna be close, maybe a SD to Canelo.

        • March 26th 2013 @ 2:57pm
          The Grafter said | March 26th 2013 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

          I hea you Frankie.

          Alverez has only just turned 22 and has over 40 fights. The boy turned pro at 15. I think he has
          has the attributes to be a great.

          I like Rios on Sunday. Will be a top fight.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.