Timothy Bradley overcame a knockdown and what he says was a concussion to beat Ruslan Provodnikov in one of the most exciting fights of the year.
Bradley, who was fighting for the first time since winning a controversial decision over Manny Pacquiao last June, was awarded a unanimous decision victory by the judges. Two judges had the fight 114-113, while the third had it 115-112 in favor of Bradley, who retained his WBO welterweight title.
The two slugged it out for 12 rounds and were left with massive welts and bruises on their faces and bodies. Though Provodnikov won the first two rounds, Bradley rallied in the middle rounds, which is likely where he gained the most points with the judges. He was also lucky that the referee did not rule a knockdown against him in the first round.
Bradley took a monster right, stayed on his feet momentarily, and he fell forward to the canvas a few seconds later. For some reason, the referee did not rule it a knockdown, even though Bradley stumbled back to the ground when he attempted to get up (seen below).
The horrendous decision by the referee could have cost Provodnikov a point on the judges’ cards, which could have resulted in two of them having it a 113-113 draw.
Bradley did officially get knocked down in the final round. He was wobbly after taking a severe beating in the final minute of the fight. Bradley dropped his knee to the canvas with 12 seconds left and got up just before the final bell.
The final punch stats were in Bradley’s favor. He landed 347 of 1000 (35 percent) punches thrown compared to 218 of 676 (32 percent) for Provodnikov, per HBO. He also landed 218 of 511 (43 percent) of power punches, compared to 186 of 514 (36 percent) for Provodnikov.
After the fight, Bradley told HBO’s Max Kellerman that he was concussed early in the fight.
“I think I got a concussion. I know I do,” Bradley said with a giggle. “Without a doubt.
“This guy is a power puncher,” Bradley said of Provodnikov. “He’s a great warrior, and I take my hat off to him. He’ll beat any 140 and 147-pounder out there. He’s the real deal.”
Bradley’s mental state was so bad, he forgot that he had told Kellerman a minute before their interview that he had been concussed.
“What did I say? I forgot,” Bradley said when Kellerman asked him to repeat what he had told him moments earlier.
So, yeah, Bradley overcame a concussion, knockdown, and received a break from the referee to get the win. According to Bryan A. Graham, Bradley will face the winner of Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado. The winner of that fight will likely face the winner of Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez.
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