Bradley Receiving Death Threats
By John G. Thompson: Following the biggest win of his career, the new WBO welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) reports that he is getting death threats on Facebook and Twitter. So instead of celebrating his victory over one of the generation’s best boxers, Manny Pacquiao, Bradley must contend with malicious criticism and now threats against his life.
Article posted on 16.06.2012
The route of the animosity comes from the highly controversial decision last Saturday in which two ringside judges in Las Vegas awarded the fight to Bradley when most viewers felt the Filipino phenomenon deserved the nod. To call the decision controversial may be an understatement given the disparity in public opinion and the wide media coverage (despite boxing’s decline in popularity); however, none of this is the fault of the undefeated twenty-eight year old Palm Springs native.
Bradley stated on ESPN Radio Chicago, “Definitely on Facebook and Twitter, reading people’s comments, e-mails and people are sending me like death threats, telling me to die, telling me to give the belt back, ‘if you’re a man’ and all this hate mail. Just people being really rude like I’m the one to blame. ‘If you’re a real champion and want any respect from me then you’d give the belt back.’ I’m like ‘dude I earned the belt and I’m not giving the belt back.’ Anybody out there that thinks I should give the belt back, the belt is not going back. I deserve the belt. I won the fight regardless of what anyone thinks. The judges thought I won the fight and that is that. I’m not the one to blame here. Don’t be pointing the finger at me. Don’t be sending me crazy e-mails and things like that because I really don’t care.”
Certainly, Bradley is correct that he is “not the one to blame here.” However, his reluctance to admit defeat has certainly left a sour taste for many fans. Of course, how often does a fighter claim defeat after a close decision and how often does a champion give back a title which brings him more leverage in future negotiations? For most of us boxing is a sport, for fighters like Bradley it is a career.
Bradley stated, “I fought my fight. I fought the best I could that night given my injuries but I’m not the one to blame. I’m not the one to blame for the results. The judges saw the fight the way they saw the fight and that is that. They had some really professional judges out there and some really good judges out there and Duane Ford is one of the best judges out there and he picked me. What do you want me to do? I thought the fight was close after the fight.”
The one thing I will disagree with Bradley about is his praise of Duane Ford. Ford may be one of the most experienced judges in the sport; however, the seventy-four year old has been on the wrong end of a number of decisions. Ford was one of the judges who awarded the second Pacquiao vs. Marquez fight to Pacquiao. Way back in the 1980s Ford had Gerry Cooney ahead of Larry Holmes prior to Holmes stopping Cooney in the 13th round, and despite three points deducted for low blows.
I did not watch the Bradley vs. Pacquiao fight as I am boycotting Pay-Per-View matchups (and I hope fans will join me after last week’s fiasco) so I will not argue about who won until I will watch the replay this coming weekend on HBO, with the sound off, so as to accurately keep score without interference from announcers or a biased crowd. However, I find it unlikely that I will score the fight differently than the majority of fans or professional commentators. So even though Bradley won the fight officially, it might be hard for him to celebrate this moment due to the actions of officials beyond his control. Maybe that’s justice, since he did not seem to deserve the win. Regardless, he does not deserve to be the focal point for the disgust felt by boxing fans around the world. If fans want to express their disapproval over the outcome, they have an effective recourse – boycott the next fight; do not pay for it on Pay-Per-View, and do not put money back in the hands of promoters like Bob Arum or an incompetent boxing commission.
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