By Leighton Ginn
When the topic turns to the lower leg injuries he suffered both times, Timothy Bradley refuses to make any excuses and points out that boxing is a gladiator sport.
Bradley will face Manny Pacquiao for a third time on April 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in a rubber match. In the first fight, Bradley suffered from an ankle and foot injury but managed to win a split decision in 2012. In the rematch, Bradley tore his calf muscle in two places, but was able to go the distance, losing a unanimous decision.
Asked about the injuries, Bradley said he doesn’t like talking about it. And Bradley was clear there are no excuses from him.
“It’s a gladiator sport, it’s a real sport, one of the hardest sports in the world and one of the toughest businesses in the world,” Bradley said following his Grand Arrival on Tuesday at the MGM Grand lobby.
Bradley credited his father with his toughness and attitude, which have served him well.
“I was always taught to always overcome. It doesn’t matter,” Bradley said. “You go through adversity in life so you deal with it. When it’s in your face, deal with it. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Just keep doing what you’re doing. That’s what my dad always instilled in me.”
Bradley has proven his toughness in several fights to help build his record to 33-1-1. Against Ruslan Provodnikov in 2013, Bradley overcame what he said was a concussion in the first round and a knockdown in the closing seconds to pull out a unanimous decision victory.
In 2009, Bradley had to overcome a first-round knockdown, and another one in the final round to hold off Kendall Holt.
Against Miguel Vazquez in 2007, Bradley had to overcome a broken rib that affected his breathing to score a unanimous decision that helped set up his first title fight.
While refusing to make an excuse, Bradley said he does wonder what could have been.
“If I was healthy, of course I think I would have done better,” Bradley said. “That’s beside the point. It is what it is. You’re in the moment and that’s what happens. Of course, you hope everything goes according to plan and smooth, but that’s not always so. Things happen, this is the boxing business. We can’t go into the locker room and inject ourselves with some kind of drug or something to deal with my pain.”