What is it about Timothy Bradley that he just can’t catch a break? Despite only being beaten once and by one of the best fighters of this generation, Manny Pacquiao, having gone overseas to win his first title and fighting the best in his division, it seems to be awfully tough for the former two-divisional champ to get time inside the ring. Since 2010, Bradley has only performed seven times with once in that year, twice in 2011, once in 2012, twice in 2013 and is scheduled for only his second fight this year in December when he faces Argentina’s Diego “La Joya” Chaves in Las Vegas on HBO.
Early on in his career when he was being developed by a small club-level promoter in southern California, Bradley seemed to enjoy as much activity as any fighter at his level even fighting seven times in 2005. Once Bradley out grew his first promoter, a co-promoter was found in Gary Shaw Productions. Obviously as he began to fight in eight and ten round fights, his activity slowed a bit. It didn’t help that Shaw is not known to actually promote but instead package fights for casinos from the east to the west coast. Bradley, a fighter out of the Palm Springs area of California, found himself performing in such diverse venues as the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi and more famously the Silverdome in Detroit when he faced Devon Alexander in a very poorly attended fight in early 2011.
One might argue that Bradley’s style is not all that commercial friendly and that it is difficult to build a following with a boxer who might not pack that much punch as Bradley does. His KO percentage is a paltry 36%. One thing that can’t be said about Bradley is that he doesn’t look for the best fights possible.
Bradley is an intelligent man and it would be safe to say that he understands his place in the sport. He understood that with his style, his lack of a real audience and effective promoter, he needed to take more risks than other fighters. In ’08 he did just that when he traveled across the pond to face the then WBC junior welterweight champion Junior Witter and ripped the belt from him with an impressive split decision win. From then on, Bradley has faced some of the best fighters the division has had to offer and beaten them all including Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell, Lamont Peterson, Luis Carlos Abregu, the aforementioned Alexander, Manny Pacquiao, Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez. When you really take a good look, it is quite impressive what Bradley has done in his career.
His last fight was the rematch with Pacquiao back in April. Mostly everybody, including perhaps Bradley at first, believed that Pacquiao had won the first fight. Because of that and some injuries, Bradley didn’t fight nearly a year after the first Pacquiao fight. When he did come back, he did with a vengeance with the fight of the year in 2013 against Ruslan Provodnikov and an impressive win over the legendary Juan Manuel Marquez.
Will 2015 be a better year for Bradley or a continuation of the last three as far as activity? I guess Diego Chaves has a lot to do with that.