Former two-division champion Timothy Bradley has decided to hang up the boxing gloves.
Yet another top name in boxing is retiring. First it was heavyweight great Wladimir Klitschko, then Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, now it’s former light-welterweight and welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.
The 33-year-old released a lengthy statement on his Instagram page, announcing his farewell from competition.
“There always comes a point in life where we have to make choices that no matter how much we know the right option, it still leaves us filled with mixed emotions.”
“I have spent the past couple days trying to find the right words to describe this point in my life and no matter how long I sit and reflect, I still don’t know if these words can do my thoughts justice, but I’m going to do my best to open up my heart and share with all of you during this pivotal time.
“It is no secret that a life of any professional athlete is not an easy one- yes it comes with a lot of fame and fortune but also comes with fear and fatigue. A balance that has to be achieved by ambition and maintained through perspective. For over twenty three years, Boxing gave me purpose and it defined me. Dedicated to my craft and fueled by my passion for the sport, my love for my team and my admiration for all of you who supported me day in and day out– I was able to give 100% of myself to be the best and to always get up when I was knocked down. It was the biggest challenge in my life but I embraced the sacrifice with every victory and milestone reached.
“Boxing gave me roots, it kept me off the streets, it gave me confidence, it taught me how to be a man and face every challenge head on and take the good with the bad. Yes I missed holidays, birthdays, even missed hearing some of my children’s first words but more than time, it took my blood, sweat and tears, all things I can never get back. Which is why turning the page for me is bittersweet. That once in a lifetime purpose to wake up everyday and give 100% is now fueled towards something else- my family. I find my strength in them, my peace and most importantly, unconditional love.
“I wake up wanting to spend all my time being a father, being a husband and being free. Although that square circle I lived to dance in everyday gave me so many smiles and blessings, it could never out weigh the smiles and blessings I receive from my wife and children. It’s now my turn to support them and encourage them to live their dreams and I couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter.”
Bradley retires with a record of 33-2-1-1 NC (13 KOs), with his only defeats coming against Manny Pacquiao. One will obviously argue it should be three losses in three fights to Pacquiao, but nevertheless the official record shows that the “Desert Storm” handed Manny a stunning split decision defeat back in June 2012.
The first major world title for Bradley came in 2008, when he defeated England’s Junior Witter by split decision to take the WBC 140-pound belt. He’d go on to win the WBO title from Kendall Holt in 2009, taking a unanimous decision despite suffering two knockdowns. After stopping Joel Casamayor in 2011, Bradley made the permanent move to welterweight, and won the WBO title vs. Pacquiao. In his first defense of his belt, Bradley outlasted Ruslan Provodnikov in one of the most amazing fights in recent memory. Bradley parlayed that win into a showdown vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, and took a split decision victory in one of the bigger moments of his career.
After suffering a clear-cut loss to Pacquiao in their 2014 rematch, Bradley fought to a disputed draw against Diego Chaves, with many believing Bradley deserved the nod. Bradley ended his time in the sport with consecutive wins over Jessie Vargas and Brandon Rios, then came up short against Pacquiao in last year’s trilogy.
Rather quietly, despite only four pay-per-view main events and never reaching A-side status on that platform, Bradley was one of the better paid boxers over the last several years. His final ten bouts all earned him seven-figure purses, totaling north of $30 million without factoring in pay-per-view points. Not too shabby.
I suppose the best way to end this post is to show the Bradley vs. Provodnikov fight in full. If you’ve not watched it before, I recommend you do. At least watch rounds 1 and 12 because they’re just action-packed.