It seems just like yesterday that Tim Bradley was one of the brightest up and comers in boxing. His talent and heart inside the ring made him a fighter that you wanted to watch even though he does not possess KO power. Along with the praise that he received for his talent he also faced criticism for head butts that would happen frequently in his fights.
Bradley was thrust into the public eye while fighting in the junior welterweight division when he beat top ranked fighters and champions, namely Devon Alexander and a title unification bout with Amir Khan looked like a dream match but that fell through after a falling out with his promoter and Bradley was left wondering what the future had in store and change was necessary.
Later in that year Bradley signed with Top Rank Promotions and after just one fight with his new promoter he hit the lotto, a dream match against Manny Pacquiao. Bradley would go on to win that fight but controversy plagued the outcome and Bradley faced a new criticism apart from head butts.
Bradley was given a shot at redemption when he faced Pacquiao sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov six months later. Bradley showed a lot of guts in the fight and in the end had his hand raised but controversy of the outcome quickly arose.
Bradley did not have to fight the way he fought but felt he had something to prove to the fans. Ah yes, the fans who are the harshest critics out there. Fans were not happy and Bradley still has not gotten the received the respect he feels he deserves. To quote a line from Eminem, “I’ll probably never get the props I feel I ever deserve.” What will it take to get that respect?
On October 12th Tim Bradley will get another chance to earn the respect and approval of fans when he takes on Juan Manuel Marquez in a fight that pits the last two men to hold a victory over Manny Pacquiao.
Marquez demonstrated that even though he is “old” for boxing that he is still a threat to anyone he faces. Should Marquez beat Bradley then Bradley would have lost to one of the greatest pugilists to ever step into the ring. If Bradley should when the fight, expect criticism to arise. Bradley will most definitely not receive credit for a victory and fans will quickly say that Bradley fought and beat an old man.
In life, respect is earned, not given. Bradley has done enough to earn respect but people tend to focus on bad more than good. If Bradley beats Marquez then his next opponent should be a major one that people want to see him face and if he comes out victorious from that bout then he may get the recognition and respect of the fans.