New WBO welterweight titlist, Timothy Bradley, has developed a reputation as a classy and gentlemanly fighter, but the backlash following his controversial June 9th split decision win over Manny Pacquiao is forcing an angry, dark side to emerge from "Desert Storm."
On the receiving end of death threats and volume upon volume of published criticism, Bradley has found his back against the wall ever since his hand was raised at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Most recently, the reigning welterweight champ has been forced to respond to claims made from his own promoter, Bob Arum.
The aged promoter and head honcho of Top Rank went on the post-fight record with comments allegedly made by Bradley immediately after the widely-disputed contest. Arum told assembled media that the victor on June 9th had actually told him, "I tried hard but I couldn't beat the guy" in the moments before the decision was read.
Bradley, however, not only disputes the quote, he is livid about it.
"I never told Bob that at all. He's a liar and I will tell him that to his face," Bradley said. "I told Bob I did the best I can. I got injured. That was it. That's all I said to Bob. I didn't say, 'Bob, I couldn't beat that guy.' I would never say that, because I thought I won the fight."
The frustrated fighter would later go on to reaffirm his loyalty and gratitude to Top Rank, but also said that he will resolve his issues with Arum face to face.
"Bob's going to say that because that's his cash cow. The fact he lost to me, that's hard on him. That's hard on everyone," said Bradley.
It's easy to sympathize with Bradley in this matter. He's not a judge, nor the promoter, and he did perform to the best of his abilities. Most observers thought he should've lost the contest by a wide margin, but few can really doubt the effort he put forth.
All of this has weighed heavily on the shoulders of the Palm Springs native and could serve to either bolster his reserve for a better performance in the rematch or, possibly, crush his confidence under the pressure.
Time will tell what this mess makes of Timothy Bradley.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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