Happy 33rd Birthday Tim Bradley – Today, August 29th, marks Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley’s 33rd birthday. Tim is well known in boxing circles and even a bit on the worldwide stage, having met Manny Pacquiao three times in pay-per-view fights. His journey has not been an easy one though. Tim has had to earn his respect the hard way and has been unjustly criticized along the way.
Tim was born and raised in California. A hotbed of fistic talent, Cali was the perfect spot for an aspiring boxer to hone a great skill set. A great skill set, however, is exactly what everyone around Tim typically doesn’t bring up. They talk about the work ethic instilled in him by his father, Timothy Sr.
Tim started amateur boxing at age 10. During his lengthy amateur career, he was a two-time national champion. He turned professional in August of 2004 and quietly racked up a record of 21-0 before getting the opportunity to go to Nottingham Arena in the United Kingdom and fight Junior Witter for the WBC super lightweight title. Tim was the underdog in that fight as a relative unknown but he dropped the Englishman on route to winning the decision and brought his title back to the US – catapulting himself onto everyone’s radar. Tim attributed part of the big win to Witter overlooking him, saying that Witter was looking past him to fighting Ricky Hatton.
Tim’s next fights were wins over the durable hard punchers Edner Cherry and Kendall Holt. In the Holt fight he took a left hook in the first round that sounded like a shotgun blast. The punch snapped Tim’s head violently, dropping him to the canvas looking like a rag doll. This is the point where we first saw Bradley’s indomitable will. All his training and conditioning came into play as well, as he picked himself back up and won nearly every round thereafter.
Shortly after the Holt fight Bradley was stripped of his WBC title for not facing mandatory challenger Devon Alexander, who picked up that very WBC belt on the undercard of Tim’s next fight against the veteran Nate Campbell. Alexander fought Tim’s old nemesis Junior Witter and stopped him, dominating the fight until Witter retired with a hand injury. Fans now clamored for a unification fight between Tim and Devon Alexander.
In between the Campbell and Alexander fights, Tim would decision the then unbeaten Lamont Peterson and also move up to the welterweight class to fight the unbeaten Luis Carlos Abregu. Abregu was a replacement for what was supposed to be a Marcos Maidana showdown that fell through when Maidana suffered a back injury in training camp. Tim stayed undefeated and showed his underrated boxing ability in the Abregu bout, keeping his distance and boxing the bigger and stronger man.
The Alexander showdown finally occurred in January of 2011. It was not at all what boxing heads expected as it was an ugly affair, with Tim using rough inside tactics and with head butts playing a large role – so large that the fight was stopped because of them with Tim winning the technical decision in a lackluster fight.
A win was a win though and it led to a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Everyone knows about the controversy that ensued when Tim was awarded a split decision. The unfortunate thing is that Tim entered the bout somewhat loathed already. His two prior bouts were stinkers that were blamed on him, the Alexander bout with the rough tactics and head butts that led to a premature stoppage, and then his bout with Joel Casamayor on the pay-per-view undercard of Pacquiao-Marquez III. Many people did not like watching Tim destroy the badly faded Casamayor. That was a cringe-worthy affair that wasn’t expected to be pretty and turned out to be even worse.
Tim would reveal a few years after the first Pacquiao debacle that he had not just death threats but even suicidal thoughts because of how nasty the fans got with him. In any case Tim’s redemption came in his two next fights. This writer believes that the pinnacle of his career, thus far at least, was the Fight of the Year against Ruslan Provodnikov followed by his amazing performance against Juan Manuel Marquez. Against Provodnikov we saw the heart of a champion as Tim looked out on his feet in the sixth round but was instinctively throwing punches with his back on the ropes. Then against Marquez he showed his amazing boxing ability by befuddling the Mexican legend with his slick and quick footwork as he boxed from the outside.
Since these fights Tim has gone 2-2-1 with both losses coming at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. He was never able to convince the fans that he was the better man than Pacquiao, but “Desert Storm” is a true warrior and this writer believes that history will treat him well. I am personally a big fan of Bradley and believe he has an underrated resume that by the time he is finished fighting will be looked at seriously for Hall of Fame potential. Let’s see what he can muster up yet late in his career. I have a funny feeling there are still a few great fights left in him.
Also, TSS sends a big happy birthday shout out to Marlon Starling, who turns 57 today.
Happy 33rd Birthday Tim Bradley / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.