Tim Bradley Remains the Rodney Dangerfield of Boxing

BY David A. Avila ON April 09, 2014
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Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley may be the one of the few undefeated prizefighters that could truly be called the Rodney Dangerfield of boxing.

Think of it.

Since 2004, when Bradley entered the professional boxing ring, experts, fans and casual observers have casually shrugged him off, with a “nothing special” kind of look on their faces. Despite facing and defeating a long list of opponents that were favored to beat him, respect has not swung in the Palm Spring boxer’s direction. Not at all.

A lesser man would have crumbled at the disrespect sent in Bradley’s direction but for 10 years he’s plowed through it all with a revved up determination that can best be described as manic.

“I’m hungry man,” said Bradley. “This is everything I ever wanted.”

Words have been exchanged through the media between the two smaller-sized welterweights about who has lost their zeal and who’s full of beans. This fight has 10 times more anticipation than their first encounter.

For a second time WBO welterweight titlist Bradley (31-0, 12 Kos) meets legendary fighter Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 Kos) on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Respect will certainly mean much more to the winner in this fight. HBO pay-per-view will televise the card.

When Pacquiao first arrived on American shores it was easy to recognize his abundance of talent as he buzzed through IBF junior featherweight titleholder Lehlo Ledwaba with a blur of punches and power not seen very often. The fact it was televised by HBO created an instant reputation that few boxers have ever enjoyed. Plus, that night in 2001, Pacman kept the machine purring with his willingness to meet and destroy every opponent placed in his path.

Bradley’s path has been much different.

“I came up the hard way. I came up through the back door,” said Bradley, who was passed over by the big promotion companies when he turned pro.

The Palm Springs boxer was fed some of the toughest and most dangerous boxers not toting a AK-47 or machete. Many of Bradley’s foes were guys that nobody wanted to fight for one reason or another. You may not know who they are but on the club shows in California they were the undesirables.

One of those was current IBF lightweight world champion Miguel Vasquez, whose only defeats came against Bradley and four fights later to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. At the time the Mexican champion met Bradley, both were much avoided boxers on the rise. That night Bradley’s speed and persistence proved the difference in the win that took place outdoors in the Corona heat. It was the first time Bradley had met a boxer who forced the speed Palm Springs fighter to alter his game plan.

“Oh man, he was a tricky fighter,” said Bradley about Mexico’s Vasquez. “You couldn’t get a bead on him. He has good movement.”

From that point on Bradley faced a long list of fighters that he was not favored to defeat, such as Junior Witter, Edner Cherry, Kendall Holt, Nate Campbell, Lamont Peterson, Luis Abregu, and Devon Alexander. Of course he was not favored to defeat Pacquiao or Juan Manuel Marquez either.

“I don’t know what it is, man,” says Bradley. “But early on people just didn’t seem to believe in me.

Pacquiao hasn’t had problems in that department at all. And it’s simple to understand that critics, bookmakers, experts and fans all love power punchers. In boxing the world loves a boxer who can put his opponent down for the count.

Bradley’s knockout numbers pale next to Pacman’s. When he tried to emulate the Filipino slugger he was nearly decapitated by Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov. Ironically, that was the only fighter in years Bradley was favored to beat.

Through it all, though Bradley remains undefeated, he lacks respect from the boxing world. Well, not entirely. Those who watched or faced Bradley in the amateurs remember his fiery abilities in the boxing ring.

Andre Ward and More

Current super middleweight world champion Andre Ward remembers battling the much smaller Bradley back in the day.

“Tim Bradley was tough,” said super middleweight world champion Ward, who is now recognized as one of the top prizefighters pound for pound. “He was the toughest guy I faced in the amateurs.”

Others, like two-division world champion Paul “Magic Man” Malignaggi, also saw Bradley fight much bigger middleweights and come out the victor.

“He was tough for everybody who fought him,” remembers Malignaggi.

Ask boxers like Andre Dirrell, Vanes Martirosyan and Ward about Bradley’s abilities. ­They view Bradley’s boxing skills much differently than fans, critics or so-called experts. Even Pacquiao’s trainer refrains from discounting the Palm Spring fighter’s talent.

“Bradley is a very tough guy. He takes good shots. He has a good chin. He fought concussed against Ruslan and he didn’t know where he was,” said Freddie Roach, adding that it might prove a factor in their coming fight.

But the only factor that matters on Saturday will be who emerges the winner and who moves on. It could be Pacquiao’s last fight as a big name attraction or it could be Bradley’s.

“Pacquiao is going to be vicious. I think I pissed him off. I got under his skin by saying that he lost it. He's been training hard and I heard throughout the grapevine he has been looking sharp - and that's his job, he needs to be at his very best,” said Bradley, 30, about words exchanged through the media. “And I have been working hard too, so we can put on a show for the fans and that's what it's all about.”

Pacquiao has some words to say about Bradley’s comments and might be looking for his first knockout win in four years. Or maybe not?

“Sometimes you knock the opponent out and sometimes you don’t,” said Pacquiao when asked why he hasn’t knocked anyone out in his past seven fights. “The more he (Bradley) says it, the more it inspires me to show the hunger and the killer instinct he is talking about.”

It should prove a very interesting night. But will a Bradley win finally bring him the respect he deserves?

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Comment on this article

Radam G says:

The Rodney Dangerfield of boxing is going to get his arse torched on Saturday, USA mainland time. Holla!

Radam G says:

The Rodney Dangerfield of boxing is going to get his arse torched on Saturday, USA mainland time. Holla!

The Commish says:

t's so true that Tim Bradley gets little respect from fans. He deserves respect, however.

He will certainly get it--in abundance--if he pulls off a convincing victory on Saturday night.

"Uhh! Tough crowd! Tough crowd!" was Rodney Dangerfield's battle cry. It may as well belong to Timothy Bradley, too. A victory on Saturday will not bring over all the nay-sayers, but it will do a lot to make most in that "tough crowd" believers.

Under 60 hours away!

-Randy G.

leon30001 says:

Bradley doesn't get respect because he keeps saying he won 8-4 in the first fight.

Skibbz says:

He deserves it.. Perhaps. But in my eyes he's a two loss undefeated fighter and as Leon30000001 said you don't get respect for running your gums with false chatter!

Radam G says:

Somebodee and dey ugly, fat, cross-eyed dog named Sissy oughta cry bytch-crying-and-delusional Bradey a RIVER! Da Manny is gonna make him quiver and shiver. Not a single shot, the big-headed Bradley can deliver. He ain't gonna do syet to Da Manny. Less alone knock him out.

All the Cali Cranium Crusher and Trainer J-Di do is bytch and cry how "nobody gives respect to Timmy."

OMFG! The only respect that you are given in this world is birth. Every thing else comes by your worth.

Timmy has to EARN respect like everybody else. Nobody has to give him syet. Especially when haters, corrupted wackos and home-state chums and bigots have given him a gift, a lift and shift.

The world whole saw that he LOST to Da Manny and was given a straight-up GIFT because cheating-judge Daune Ford was pi$$ed off at Da Manny for warming up late and starting the bout later, because Da Manny was watching the TV and enjoying a Pinoy-coached NBA team WIN!

Openly-gay judge C.J. Ross ROBBED Da Manny because she was in on the fix from the jump and wanted to bump Da Manny, because she believed a journalist-made-up lie of Da Manny saying that: "Homos are an abomination, and should be put to death." WHAT a POS fib!

Who in the heck is anybody to judge what G-O-D Made? God Let them [sic] homosexuals come into existence. So the evil souls of mankind need to mind their own syet, and STFU!

GOAT Ali didn't have "nuffin' against 'em Viet Con!" Da Manny has nuffin' against 'em homos. They are people too. And have wonderful character and can be some trifling arseholes -- C.J. Ross comes to mind -- like straightos [sic] and hos. Hehehe!

The Cali corrupted powers that be gave Timmy a home-state-cooking verdict LIFT against the Siberian Rocky by discounting two knockdowns -- one against the rope and one to the canvas.

Juan Manuel Marquez was "full of dat syet" and morphed into Hulkquez against Da Manny in Fight IV. Nonetheless, Marquez/Hulkquez took a beating, a dislocated jaw and a broken nose in that bout before knocking Da Manny TFO. The bout caused JMM to get roll up in pug lot of SHOT fighters.

Against Timmy, JMM came in without Hulkquez all up in his arse and got his zombie-fied arse WHUP! JMM's greatness and pesty countering punching was no more. Dude zombie walked and shook and syet through da night. Hehehe! So naturally Timmy was able to get a SHIFT -- the shifting of the bytching crybabies -- verdict.

The Marquez of yesteryears was not in the arena that night. Da great crybaby's skills took a flight outta his mind, body and soul.

I ain't hating, but Timmy B has been lucky. Da Dude is darn MUCKY! And oughta STFU and not take up the bytch crying of Marquez. We don't need a crybaby-arse Eboniquez.

Da Manny is going to ______ _____ ______ him! Holla!

brownsugar says:

Bradley sends out mixed signals ... Talk of suicide tendencies and remarks pretaining to his family starving should he lose this fight, sound more like pleas for mercy than a demand for Manny to unleash his brutal best.

Truth is Bradley is well paid win or lose.

I can't believe Bradly entertained suicide thoughts after earning the biggest payday of his life and after being bestowed the grandest gift decision over the highest profile opponent he will ever face in his boxing career.

His public relations rep should have coached Tim to screen that stuff.

Save it for doctor Phil buddy.....but never speak to the negative days before the biggest fight in 2014......c'mon Bradley ....get it together... I want to see a competitive fight.

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