Life was largely ruined for Timothy Bradley in 2012, when he defeated the legendary Manny Pacquiao. The scoring was suspect, at best, and the majority of those who saw the bout believed that Pacquiao, not Bradley, deserved to win.
Bradley was bombarded with threats, hate mail and was the target of abuse from out-of-control Pacquiao fans, even though he had nothing to do with the result.
And that controversy for a lot of people overshadowed what a brilliant career he put together. Fittingly, on Wednesday he was announced as one of 10 people elected as part of the International Boxing Hall of Fame's Class of 2023.
Joining Bradley are boxers Carl Froch, Rafael Marquez, Alicia Ashley and Laura Serrano; matchmaker Brad Goodman; promoter Brad Jacobs; trainer Joe Goossen; former HBO Sports president Seth Abraham and broadcaster Tim Ryan.
Bradley, who has since become an elite television analyst working for ESPN on its Top Rank boxing broadcasts, went 33-2-1. His only losses were to Pacquiao and his draw came in 2014 against Diego Chaves.
He defeated 11 men who were champions or at some point in their careers held world titles: Pacquiao, Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios, Jessie Vargas, Ruslan Provodnikov, Joel Casamayor, Junior Witter, Miguel Vazquez, Kendall Holt, Devon Alexander and Lamont Peterson.
“This is one of the greatest days of my life," Bradley said. "I appreciate this so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m ecstatic and don’t really know what to say. This is everything I wanted and everything I worked for. I’m full of emotions and there are so many things going through my mind from my past that got me to this point. This is a dream come true. This is my heaven, the International Boxing Hall of Fame.”
Bradley is one of three persons with Top Rank ties who were elected as part of the Class of 2023. Jacobs, who is Top Rank's COO, was best known for running the popular "Tuesday Night Fights" on USA Network. Goodman started with Top Rank as an intern in 1983 in New York and has been one of its primary matchmakers since 2004. Before joining Top Rank as a matchmaker, he made the matches for The Orleans Hotel & Casino's monthly shows in Las Vegas, and they were the best club shows in the country at the time.
"Brad Goodman and Brad Jacobs have been integral to the success of Top Rank over the years, and I congratulate them both on this deserved honor," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "Timothy Bradley Jr. is a Hall of Famer, both in and out of the ring, and he will take his rightful place among the greats of our sport."
Froch fought in a loaded super middleweight division and went 33-2 with 24 knockouts. He went 10-2 in world title fights and avenged one of his losses, to Mikkel Kessler, by winning a unanimous decision in 2013. The only man he fought whom he didn't beat was Andre Ward.
"Brilliant! This is amazing, great news!" Froch said. "It’s amazing to be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside so many legends of the sport. Boxing is the best sport in the world. It tests everything in a man and a woman. The mentality, discipline, grit, determination, heart, desire, everything is all in that ring and it is just you on your own with your opponent. For me to be inducted with the greatest of all time from every weight division is just fantastic! I’m grateful to be recognized.”
Rafael Marquez joins his brother, Juan Manuel Marquez, as a Hall of Famer. He was 41-9 with 37 KOs and was one of the most exciting fighters of his time. His four-bout series with Israel Vazquez remains one of the best in the history of the sport.
Goossen is also the second Goossen to be elected, joining his late brother, Dan, in receiving the honor. Joe Goossen has been one of the sport's best trainers for decades, but perhaps is best remembered for his role in motivating Diego Corrales during a classic 2005 battle with Jose Luis Castillo. In one of the great fights ever, Corrales was down twice in the 10th and on the verge of being stopped. He lost his mouthpiece and when Goossen replaced it, he urged him on. Corrales came back to win with a dramatic KO.
“I’ve got to tell you, I’m absolutely stunned," Goossen said. "To think I’ll be in the Hall of Fame with my brother, Dan, is probably the best thing I’ve heard since he died. When I got into the sport back in 1970, I would have never thought in 10 million years that I would really make a mark and eventually end up in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. I’m shocked and honored.”