Diagnosed with a mild concussion, Timothy Bradley was “idiotic” while surviving to successfully defend the WBO light welterweight championship against the “Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov last Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Scrapping on wobbly legs and hitting the canvas at least once in the most exciting and brutal fight of 2013, Bradley (30-0-0-1, 12 KOs) somehow remained upright and earned a narrow unanimous decision victory over the powerful Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs).
“Standing there and trading with a big puncher was an idiotic move,” said Bradley, 29, a former two-time light welterweight titlist who last fought in June when he unwittingly stole Manny Pacquiao’s crown. Bradley, who showed heart and grit by continuing to battle Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) with a fractured left foot and severely sprained right ankle, favorably compared the rugged Russian to “The Fighting Pride of the Philippines.”
“I really don’t know (why) I did it, I really don’t. I guess I had to do what I had to do. The game plan was to box him, but I didn’t do it. I wasn’t listening to my corner. A lot of the things that happened (in the fight) I don’t even remember. But definitely, (this was) the hardest fight in my career. I’ve never taken this much punishment in my life.”
The 29-year-old Provodnikov, whose only previous loss as a professional came at the hands of American Mauricio Herrera in January 2011, is a genuine bruiser with thunderous fists.
Although “idiotic,” and possibly resulting in long-term damage, Timothy Bradley is a more respected prizefighter today for taking so “much punishment” and emerging victorious.by