LONDON  – Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao believes his role as challenger in his world title bout with Tim Bradley this weekend will inspire him to victory.

The Filipino superstar has cut a calm and relaxed figure throughout fight week as he looks to avenge his controversial 2012 loss to the Californian Bradley, live and exclusive on BoxNation.

It was the 30-year-old Bradley who wrestled the WBO welterweight championship away from the claws of the eight-weight world champion Pacquiao on that fateful night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

But now, ‘Pacman’ is ready to thrive in his position as the challenger, as he looks to show that he can reach the heights of his illustrious past on his way to winning an unprecedented eleventh world title.

“There are a lot of people who doubt I can fight the same way I fought when I knocked out Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera,” said Pacquiao.

“I want to prove to them that I am the best. I am inspired. I am the challenger. I know I will need to outbox and outspeed Bradley. And that is what I will do. This is the first time I have challenged for a world title that I lost. Do I want it back? You bet I do; and I want it back from Tim Bradley,” he said.

Accusations have been levelled at Pacquiao questioning if he still has the hunger and desire for prizefighting.

The man himself admitted he was too cordial in the initial meeting with Bradley, stating he won’t play the nice guy this time around, with the American needing to lay him out to win.

“The only way Bradley can beat me this time is to knock me out. He cannot outbox me. I will be the aggressor. I will throw a lot of punches at him – more than I threw against [Brandon] Rios – and I will land them,” Pacquiao said.

“Last time I was too nice. This time, I will finish what I start. I want to get back that belt he won off of me. Boxing has always been fun for me. This time the fun is secondary. This is a mission to prove I am the best.

“In my fight against Rios I proved I can still fight at the high level everyone expects from me. I showed I can still control a fight as well as I ever have,” he said.

Juggling his role as a boxer and Congressman back home in the Philippines hasn’t been an easy one for the 35-year-old.

He has seen the progress that Bradley has made over the past two years, overcoming WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov and Mexican icon Juan Manuel Marquez, to cement his place amongst the elite in the 147 pound division.

Pacquiao is honest enough to declare he overlooked Bradley the first time, but there will be no chance of that this time around.

“I remember last time believing that I won the first fight against Tim Bradley. I thought I was leading after every round. I thought I won the fight easily. I controlled the fight every round. I had a feeling in training camp that he would run from me once he felt my power and he did after the third or fourth round,” said Pacquiao.

“I was very surprised by the decision. But that’s part of the game. He got the decision and my title. But to be honest, I wasn’t as motivated when I was training for our first fight. I guess I didn’t take him seriously enough,” he said.

“I am impressed with what Bradley has done since our fight. He is a different fighter now since we fought. He has more experience at this level and as a welterweight champion. He fought extremely well against Marquez. I knew Tim would beat him utilizing his speed. But in the end I am still faster than Bradley,” Pacquiao said.

The rematch between the pair kicks-off a mega next couple of months on BoxNation with a host of world title fights including Floyd Mayweather’s ring return against Marcos Maidana on May 3rd, with British star Amir Khan also featuring that night against the skilled Luis Collazo.–76602


LONDON – Pound-for-pound ace Manny Pacquiao will be back on British screens next month when he battles WBO welterweight world champion Tim Bradley live and exclusive on BoxNation.

The world’s biggest and best dedicated boxing channel will air the eagerly anticipated rematch taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on April 12th, adding yet another mega showdown to its jam-packed roster.

The news comes hot on the heels following the announcement that the ‘Channel of Champions’ will also screen Floyd Mayweather’s May showdown with Marcos Maidana, which also features Amir Khan’s ring return against the highly respected Luis Collazo.

The initial clash in 2012 between ‘Fighter of the Decade’ Pacquiao and Californian Bradley, ended in much controversy with the American winning a highly contentious split decision.

Both fighters went their separate routes following the bout, with Filipino Pacquiao sensationally knocked out against Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth meeting before bouncing back in style against the unrelenting Brandon Rios late last year.

Bradley on the other hand has grown since the pair’s first encounter, recording a win over the electrifying Ruslan Provodnikov, in the 2013 Fight of the Year, followed by a split decision victory over the Mexican legend Marquez.

Their April showdown will go a long way to answering the many questions that have arisen since they locked horns two years earlier, with the eyes of the boxing world set to be fixated on two of the very best pound-for-pound fighters when they do battle once again.

“I want my title back and I am prepared to endure my hardest training camp ever to win this fight against Tim Bradley,” said Pacquiao. “It is very exciting to be returning to Las Vegas. And as always, I dedicate this fight to my countrymen throughout the world and to bring glory to the Philippines.”

“This fight is to get the credit I did not get the first time,” said Bradley. “I must beat Pacquiao as convincingly as I beat Juan Manuel Marquez.”

“Tim Bradley is one of the toughest guys in the world and I saw that up close when he fought Ruslan Provodnikov last year,” said Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who worked Provodnikov’s corner. “Tim looked even better in beating Marquez in his last fight. Tim is the champion and Manny and I know we have our work cut out for us to successfully challenge him on April 12.”

“This is a fight which will give us peace of mind after the controversy of our first fight,” said Bradley’s trainer Joel Diaz. “We have to win and make it clear. It’s not going to be easy for Pacquiao if he thinks he can beat Bradley. I will guarantee that.”

“At long last a competitive superfight,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “I am sure the sports books in Las Vegas are gearing up for huge two-way action.”

Pacquiao-Bradley 2 joins BoxNation’s April schedule which also features the man known as ‘The Alien’ – Bernard Hopkins – who, at 49, puts his IBF light-heavyweight world title on the line in a unification matchup with WBA Super champion Beibut Shumenov.

Plus, the exhilarating Carl Frampton returns to the ring as he takes on Hugo Cazares in a WBC super-bantamweight world title eliminator with the victor facing off against Mexican kingpin Leo Santa Cruz.

Juergen Braehmer and Enzo Maccarinelli also go head-to-head in April for the WBA light-heavyweight world title, before BoxNation brings you the stacked Mayweather-Maidana bill which, in addition to the main event and Khan-Collazo, will see Adrien Broner take on Carlos Molina and rising star J’Leon Love against Marco Antonio Periban.

Even more top action features on BoxNation with heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury taking on the sturdy Dereck Chisora in a WBO world title eliminator on July 26th.–76038


By:  Rob Smith —

If you wondered what Manny Pacquiao’s strategy will be for how he plans on beating WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley, Pacquiao revealed it in an interview this week. The strategy is simple. Pacquiao says he plans on throwing a lot of punches to force Bradley to deal a lot of incoming. Whether that’ll work or not is another thing.

Bradley isn’t someone that is going to just stand around and let Pacquiao throw 1000 punches at him in a 12 round fight like Joshua Clottey did against Pacquiao in 2010. Bradley has already said that he’s going to use a lot of movement against the Filipino fighter, and choose when and where he wants to mix it up with him.

Pacquiao said via esnewsreporting that he’s going to fight like a “Young Manny Pacquiao, [be] aggressive, throwing a lot of punches. I want to maintain my name at the top, and prove that I can still fight.”

There’s little question that Pacquiao can still fight. He proved that in whipping Brandon Rios last November in Macao, China. The thing that Pacquiao has to prove against Rios is that he can do a better job cutting off the ring against him than he did in their fight in June of 2012, because Pacquiao did a rotten job of forcing Bradley to fight. Pacquiao also did a bad job of fighting for the full three minutes of every round. He looked like he was taking long portions of each round off, and this enabled Bradley go steal the round with minimal effort in the last portions of the rounds.

Bradley is probably going to try the same trick in their rematch on April 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. We saw in Bradley’s last two fights against Ruslan Provodikov and Juan Manuel Marquez that Bradley would come on in the last part of the round to make sure that he won it on the judges score cards. That’s something that he’ll no doubt be trying to do against Pacquiao again. Bradley will likely move for 2.5 minutes of the round, and then go after Pacquiao in the last 30 seconds to try and impress the judges in order to win the round.

Pacquiao can still throw a lot of punches if he moves his feet quick enough to stay close to Bradley. However, if he lets Bradley circle in front of him without cutting off the ring, then he’ll be stuck dealing with Bradley coming after him when and where he wants to in the last seconds of the rounds.





Photo by Scott Heavey, Gettyimages –

by Lem Satterfield –

WBO President Paco Valcarcel has declared unbeaten featherweight Gary Russell Jr. to be the organization’s mandatory challenger to Mexican Orlando Salido, giving Salido the next 180 days within which to defend against Russell after having won the vacant belt by seventh-round knockout over Orlando Cruz on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The ruling would not preclude a planned voluntary defense for Salido (40-12-2, 28 knockouts) against Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko for Jan. 25 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, a possibility mentioned by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum after Lomachenko’s fourth-round stoppage of Mexican rival Jose Luis Ramirez (25-4, 15 KOs) on Saturday.

Like Salido-Cruz, Lomachenko-Ramirez happened on the undercard of Tim Bradley’s split-decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez. A 25-year-old amateur star, Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO) was a winner of his second Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London. [Editor’s note: Lomachenko took part in six World Series of Boxing semi-pro bouts that were scheduled for five rounds before officially turning pro.]

“If Salido wants to fight Lomachenko in January, then he could do it,” said Valcarcel. “Because we’re talking (about) Salido having (to) face Russell before April. In the interim, he can fight a voluntary. The mandatory would not be due until around April 12.”

A 25-year-old 2004 U.S. Olympian who is coming off a unanimous decision over Juan Ruiz in August,  Russell (23-0, 13 KOs) said he received the news of the WBO’s mandate last Wednesday.

“On Oct. 9, my team received written confirmation from the WBO that I am the mandatory challenger for their featherweight world title,” said Russell, in a prepared release. “I’m ready for my first world title fight and can not wait for the fight to get made.”

The prospect of making Salido-Russell or Russell-Lomachenko could be complicated since Arum and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer are feuding and are aligned with rival networks, HBO and Showtime, respectively.

In addition, Russell has been promoted by Golden Boy through advisor Al Haymon, with whom Arum also has had an adversarial relationship.

Arum doesn’t believe there will be any trouble in making a fight with Russell.

“If those are the rules, then those are the rules. If the winner of Salido-Lomachenko has to fight Russell, then they’ll fight Russell. That’s no big deal,” said Arum. “If we can’t reach an agreement, then we’ll go to purse bid. That’s what it’s designed for. Golden Boy and ourselves have done a number of fights that way, after either we or they won on purse bid.”

Schaefer said the same.

“If it can’t get done, then it will have to go to purse bid,” said Schaefer. “I think that’s fantastic and I think that Gary is definitely up to the challenge.”


Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank /

By Jake Donovan –

Even on the heels of a leading Fight of the Year candidate, it’s a stretch to say that the boxing world has shown as much respect to Tim Bradley as he has shown to the sport of boxing. The always-sculpted and undefeated two-division champ has fought at the sport’s highest level of competition for at least the past four years yet is still treated by the industry at large as if he has something to prove.

That won’t stop him from loving what he does. Nor will it stop him from giving respect to others where respect is due, even when those “others” are standing in the opposite corner on fight night. Chief among those Bradley holds in the highest regard is his very next opponent, Juan Manuel Marquez, whom he faces this weekend at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I have always been a fan of Márquez,” Bradley (30-0, 12KO) unapologetically admits of his legendary opponent. “I always thought he was a great fighter and I still think he’s a great fighter. I want to fight the best to be the best in this sport.  I don’t do this just to make money, of course the money is important for my family, but I do this to be the best. That’s what motivates me and drives me.”

It was that very same drive that prompted Bradley to update his passport in 2008 for two separate road trips after a career spent at home in California. A trip to Mexico proved for naught when Jose Luis Castillo added a chapter to his troubled career by missing weight for their 140 lb. title eliminator. Bradley still got his title shot, traveling to jolly old England two months later, upending Junior Witter for his first major title.

That very same drive eventually led him to sign with Top Rank, with the hope that it would lead to a showdown with Manny Pacquiao, who at the time was – along with Floyd Mayweather – the sport’s leading fighter at the box office and in the ring.

Bradley received that opportunity sooner than expected, but the result – a controversial split decision in their June ’12 encounter – proved more harm than good for his career. Even his own promoter, Bob Arum chose sides in the aftermath, condemning the judges who scored against his cash cow and vowing an investigation into a matter he believed could only be the result of corruption or ignorance.

The level of disdain was evident on Bradley’s ring ledger, which shows nine months of inactivity (including a failed attempt at a floated rematch with Lamont Peterson last December) before returning to the ring this past March.

It took for an unrealistic amount of heart shown in his 12-round war with Ruslan Provodnikov on that night to finally get the boxing world to show him the respect he has long deserved. Bradley was stunned early and decked late, spending most of the night fighting while concussed yet somehow managed to escape with a narrow points win in a bout most consider for the moment to be the best fight to have taken place in this calendar year.

Yet even in winning over the fans while continuing to win in the ring, the belief – masked as concern – is that the fight took too much out of Bradley. By giving the fans what they wanted by brawling rather than boxing, it is now suggested that he’s ripe for the taking, even against a 40-year old opponent who has endured his own ups and downs and who hasn’t fought in 10 months.

Perhaps that’s because Marquez’ last fight was one for the ages. An epic fourth encounter with Pacquiao saw the legendary Mexican – 0-2-1 and dropped four times in their previous three bouts – overcome hellacious moments to score two knockdowns, the second producing the mother of all knockouts in the 6th round of what was hailed as 2012’s Fight of the Year.

“Everybody is looking at my last fight and everybody is looking at his last fight,” Bradley suggests in dismissing the naysayers. “Everyone remembers when he knocked out Pacquiao. And everyone remembers that war with Ruslan Provodnikov. A lot of people think I am going to be wild and go down and people have to see if I still have it or not.

“Of course they are going for the veteran, the guy that knocked out Pacquiao so of course they are going to bet on him to win. I don’t mind being the underdog. I like it. I like taking people’s money and I’ll take it again. People can doubt me and doubt me and that’s OK but soon they will get sick of losing their money.”

More than anything else these days, deep into the heart of his prime, it’s that level of doubt against him that drives Bradley to strive for the top.

“People that tell me I can’t do it, I want to prove them wrong,” Bradley insists. “I am one of the best fighters in the world and if I’m not number one on your (pound-for-pound) list, I will be.  Floyd’s got a few more fights left so when I beat Márquez I will be right in there.”

From an odds perspective, Bradley doesn’t face an insurmountable task yet still enters this weekend’s headliner as the betting underdog. Marquez is roughly a 7-5 favorite in most betting circles. Pacquiao was a 4½-1 betting favorite prior to suffering a controversial loss to Bradley, one that the boxing world never seemed to forgive of the sculpted Californian.

Regardless of how fans felt and perhaps still feel, the fact remains that Bradley owns an official win over one of the very best fighters of this generation. Come Saturday night, he looks forward to duplicating and surpassing that feat against a fighter whom he believes rates even higher.

“I want to be a part of Márquez’s legacy and by me beating Márquez, that right there will make me one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” Bradley envisions, but not without once again paying his opponent his due props.

“Márquez is probably the best fighter I will have ever faced in my career, by far. This fight on October 12th is going to be a very tough fight and I am game for war. I know Márquez is, too.”

That said, even respect for your predecessors has its limits. For Bradley, those limits end once the opening bell sounds. Some 16 months after being accused of being aided by the judges to steal a win from one legend, the unbeaten boxer vows to leave no doubt in the event the officials try to go in the opposite direction.

“I am going to whoop his ass and the judges are going to give me the fight.  Just like the U.S. government I am going to shut down Juan Manuel Márquez on October 12th.  I am going to win the fight – that is the bottom line.  I’m not concerned about any judges or any ref.  I am going to get in there and do my job and beat Márquez. And that’s it. And the world’s going to see it.”

And, maybe at that point, finally show Tim Bradley the same respect he has shown to boxing.–70407


By Thomas Hauser –

On October 12th, Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez will meet in the ring at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The fight (which is being promoted by Top Rank and televised by HBO-PPV) falls midway between two more heavily hyped pay-per-view match-ups involving Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. That said; if Bradley wins, it will force the boxing establishment and boxing fans to give him his due. That would be good for Bradley and good for boxing.

Bradley comes across as a man you’d let babysit for your children.

“I try to be the best person I can be,” Tim says. “I focus on my family and my job, which is boxing. I stay out of trouble. I always try to do the right thing. I don’t like a lot of drama in my personal life.”

In nine years as a pro, Bradley has fashioned a 30-and-0 record and beaten opponents like Junior Witter, Nate Campbell, Lamont Peterson, Luis Abregu, and Devon Alexander. On June 9, 2012, he won a twelve-round split-decision over Manny Pacquiao.

“First round of the Pacquiao fight, “Tim recalls, “I was like, ‘Wow; this is it?’ This is the best fighter in the world? I can deal with him.’ Second round, something in my foot popped. I’m like, ‘Damn! I think I broke my foot. I can’t believe this is happening.’ I’d spent years trying to get to that place. It was the biggest fight of my life. So I told myself, ‘Forget about the pain. Do what you gotta do.’”

“Over the years, I’ve learned how to block out pain,” Bradley continues. “So I bit down hard on my mouthpiece and kept fighting. Then, trying to protect my left foot, I sprained my right ankle. So now I had pain wherever I put my weight. But I fought every minute of every round. It was a close fight. I thought I’d done enough to win, and the judges agreed with me. They announced the decision. I was on top of the world. And then the roof caved in.”

HBO’s commentating team thought that Pacquiao won and had called the fight accordingly. Most on-site members of the media agreed with them. Brian Kenny (who handled the blow-by-blow commentary for Top Rank’s international feed) scored the bout for Bradley. But his voice was drowned out in the tumult that followed.

In the media center immediately after the fight, Bob Arum (who promoted both fighters) declared, “I have never been as ashamed to be associated with the sport of boxing as I am tonight. To hear scores like we heard tonight; it’s unfathomable. This isn’t arguing about a close decision. This is an absurdity.”

Much of the dialogue in the days that followed focused on round seven, which was labeled “the smoking gun.” The CompuBox “punch-stats” had Pacquiao outlanding Bradley in round seven by a 27-to-11 margin. Yet all three judges scored the round for Bradley.

A smoking gun?

This writer watched a video of round seven in its entirety from multiple camera angles . . . Several times . . . In slow motion . . . I think that Bradley outlanded Pacquiao 16-to-12 in round seven. I won’t quarrel with those who say that Pacquiao deserved the decision. But it was a close fight, and I’ve been at ringside for many decisions that were worse.

I also think that Bradley deserved better treatment than he got from fans and the boxing establishment after Pacquiao-Bradley.

“This should have been the biggest moment of my life,” Tim says. “And it was ruined. They dragged my name through the mud and everybody piled on. People were saying, ‘You’re a fake champion. Give the belt back.’ I got hate mail like you wouldn’t believe. The ridicule got so bad that there were times when I didn’t know if I wanted to fight anymore.”

“I watched the tape of the fight again and again,” Bradley continues. “I can be obsessive. I watched the tape maybe fifty times. It was a close fight, but I think I won. Part of the problem, I believe, was that the HBO announcers had Pacquiao on a pedestal. It was like they were calling The Manny Pacquiao Show. Don’t get me wrong. I like HBO. But their call was way off that night. A lot of the punches the announcers said were landing didn’t land. And everything they said was going into viewers’ minds. I was shattered. It was a dark time for me. I was walking around angry, bitter. Finally, my wife asked me, ‘Aren’t you tired of this?’ I said, ‘You’re right. Enough is enough. This isn’t me. I’m not going to let these people change who I am. The fight is over. It’s in the past.”

“God sure kept me humble after that fight,” Bradley adds.

There are times when it seems that, outside the ring, Bradley can’t win. He dominates Devon Alexander, and the media focuses on the abysmal nature of the co-promotion by Don King and Gary Shaw. He decisions Manny Pacquiao, and the decision is trashed.

In his one fight after beating Pacquiao, Bradley was rendered semi-conscious by Ruslan Provodnikov in round one and fought the next eleven rounds with a concussion. He was knocked down twice, dug as deep as a fighter possibly can, and went places inside himself that few people ever go en route to winning a razor-thin twelve-round decision. It was, Bart Barry later wrote, “as valorous a display as an athlete can make.”

Now the boxing world is readying for Bradley-Marquez; a confrontation between the two fighters who beat Manny Pacquiao in the Filipino icon’s last two fights.

Bradley, irrespective of his aggravation over Arum’s comments regarding Pacquiao-Bradley, has made good money with Top Rank. He received a $5,000,000 purse to fight Manny and seven-figure paydays for outings against Joel Casamayor and Provodnikov. A $4,000,000 guarantee to Team Bradley is in place for the Marquez fight.

Bradley is ten years younger than Marquez; thirty versus forty. But Juan Manuel has a style that will be difficult for Tim. He’s an excellent counterpuncher and fights well going backward, which could blunt Tim’s natural aggression. Also, Marquez has a good uppercut, which Bradley is open to when he leans in. And Tim might not have the power (only twelve knockouts in thirty fights) to make Juan Manuel pay for his mistakes.

“I work with what I have,” Bradley says. “This isn’t my first fight. I’m not undefeated because everything went right in all of my fights. I’m undefeated because I did what I had to do to win every time.”

Then Tim offers the reminder, “People talk about how I was out on my feet in the Provodnikov fight. They talk about the heart I showed and how exciting it was. They forget how beat up the other guy was when it was over.”

But the Provodnikov fight is cause for concern to Bradley partisans on several levels.

“After the first round,” Tim recalls, “I lost track of what round it was. I was just fighting from one round to the next. I had trouble following my corner’s instructions. I felt buzzed and unbalanced the whole fight. It was like I was falling down but I didn’t fall down. The lights were going on and off and then I’d reboot. My condition and training got me through the fight. I was in great shape. And I’d done things again and again in the gym so many times that I did them without thinking during the fight.”

But there were problems afterward.

“After the fight,” Bradley acknowledges, “for two-and-a-half months, I had symptoms. My speech was slurred. I felt like I was leaning to one side. I felt weak. I flew to New York and saw some specialists for evaluation and therapy. Then I saw another neuro-specialist in California. My health comes before anything. That’s the most important thing. It’s not about the money all the time. I want to grow old with my children and grandchildren and be healthy enough that we all have a good time together. Eventually, my condition got better. Some of that was from therapy and some of it was healing through time. My balance and speech got back to where they were. My strength came back. But I still wasn’t sure how I’d react when I got hit. You see guys who get knocked out once and, all of a sudden, they’re getting knocked out all the time. So I decided to spar with Lucas Matthysse [in late-August]. He can punch. I didn’t let him hit me on purpose. But if you spar, you know you’re gonna get hit. He hit me solid a few times, and I was fine. I’m back to normal now.”

But what’s normal?

Bradley appeared to have been concussed in the ring at least twice prior to fighting Provodnikov. In 2009, he was knocked down and hurt badly in the first round by Kendall Holt. He survived and won a twelve-round decision. Three years before that, he suffered a concussion against Eli Addison.

“In the second round [of the Addison fight],” Tim remembers, “we both threw right hands and missed and our heads collided. I got whacked on the right side of my temple and didn’t know where I was at. I lost control of my body. I thought I was walking fine, but I was staggering around like Zab Judah did against Kostya Tszyu. People were laughing. They thought I was kidding around. Then the referee said ’box’ and Addison came at me. I was on autopilot. The next thing I remember, it was the seventh round.”

Bradley’s extraordinary will enables him to fight through pain. Fighting through a brain disconnect is another matter. Unlike Addison and Provodnikov, Marquez is skilled enough to finish off a fighter who’s concussed and in front of him.

Here, the thoughts of neurologist Margaret Goodman (former chief ringside physician for the Nevada State Athletic Commission and a foremost proponent of fighter safety) are instructive.

“There’s so much we don’t know about the brain,” Dr. Goodman states. “A concussion can clear up within a few days or it can take eighteen months. Sometimes the brain never fully heals. A fighter can be more susceptible to further damage after a concussion or not. We do know that he won’t be less susceptible. Someone who has suffered a concussion should not place himself at risk of another concussion until those post-concussive symptoms have completely resolved. Seven months have passed since Tim’s last fight, which has given him a chance to recuperate. That’s a good start. All that can be done now is to ensure that he gets the best pre-fight testing possible.”

Because of the concussions that he has suffered in the past, Bradley will go into the ring against Marquez with an aura of vulnerability about him. And there’s another factor that might put him at further risk.

If any sport should test thoroughly for PEDs, it’s boxing. The sweet science isn’t about running faster or hitting a baseball further. Fighters are getting hit in the head hard by men trained in the art of hurting.

For years, Juan Manuel Marquez has honored the craft of prizefighting. But there’s now a cloud hanging over him in the suspicion that, sometime before his fourth fight against Manny Pacquiao, Marquez stopped drinking his own urine in preparing for fights and began using performance-enhancing drugs under the supervision of conditioning coach Angel “Memo” Heredia.

That suspicion was echoed by Jim Lampley in a December 15, 2012, telecast of The Fight Game in which Lampley referenced “the presence in Juan Manuel Marquez’s training camp of a man who once admitted under oath to being a world-renowned purveyor of performance enhancing drugs” and “Marquez’s stunning appearance on the scale [prior to Pacquiao-Marquez IV] followed by his stunning power in the fight.”

Whatever the cause, Marquez (who several years ago looked old in the ring), appears with the assistance of Heredia to have found the fountain of youth that Ponce De Leon sought. With that in mind, Bradley wanted the most comprehensive drug-testing possible for Bradley-Marquez.

“Before I ever talked money with Top Rank,” Tim says, “we talked drug testing. It’s in my contract. I don’t know what Marquez’s contract says, but my contract says that VADA testing was supposed to be done on both fighters starting July 13th. And someone reneged.”

Marquez refused to be tested by VADA, which is widely regarded as having the most comprehensive PED testing program currently available in boxing.

Initially, Bradley threatened to pull out of the fight.

“I’m not going to fight someone at this level and risk everything if they cheated,” Tim told Boxing Scene Radio. “My contract says VADA [and USADA as a second tester if Marquez so chooses] is going to be involved, so that’s what I’m going with. If they are not going to be involved, there is not going to be a fight.”

Then Top Rank announced that it had resolved the issue by agreeing to underwrite the cost of a special PED-testing program for Bradley-Marquez to be overseen by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“The whole State of Nevada is getting involved and doing their drug testing,” Bradley responded. “That’s fine. But in my contract, it still says VADA-USADA is going to be involved. At the end of the day, if that doesn’t happen, it’s a breach of my contract.”

Eventually, Bradley backed down on the issue. He has submitted to VADA testing for himself at his own expense as a demonstration of his integrity. Both Marquez and Bradley will be tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. But Marquez will not be tested by VADA or USADA.

It’s unclear what tests will be conducted by the NSAC, which drugs will be tested for, how a positive test will be reported, when, and to whom.

Moreover, the NSAC tests began so late (August 6th) that a fighter, hypothetically, would have been able to use PEDs and then, after benefiting from their use, stop “juicing” in time to get the illegal drugs out of his system before testing began.

One might also note that the NSAC is using a collection agency whose first-stated mission is paternity testing (see ). One assumes that neither Marquez nor Bradley is pregnant.

“Let’s put it this way,” Bradley says. “Marquez and I are two of the guys at the top in boxing. When you’re at the top, you want the best of everything. But Marquez isn’t willing to do the best drug-testing in the world, which is VADA. No offense to the Nevada commission; but their drug-testing is like an old cell phone. VADA is like the iPhone5. I said, ‘If you don’t trust VADA, we’ll do VADA and USADA and Nevada. I’ll test with anyone you want as long as VADA is included. Even Pacquiao and Rios are doing VADA now. But it didn’t happen. Even the timing on what they’re doing is wrong. I wanted testing three months out. As soon as we got into July, testing should have started. But Marquez kept stalling, stalling, buying time until we got into August.”

“If you’re clean,” Bradley continues, “why not do the best testing out there? It doesn’t add up unless you’re playing games. Marquez is getting his way on testing, but I don’t think it’s the right way. It looks shady to me. PEDs are a real problem now in boxing. More fighters have to step up and insist that testing be done right or we’re all going to pay a price.”

Meanwhile, let it be noted that Bradley is (1) articulate, (2) good-looking, (3) inherently likable, (4) charismatic, and (5) a good family man. He (6) treats people with respect, (7) is undefeated, (8) is willing to go in tough, and (9) gives everything he has in training and during each fight. He’s also (10) an American. He has never been criminally convicted for beating up a woman. Nor has he been seen on YouTube giving oral sex to a stripper or sitting on a toilet in Popeye’s.

Bradley-Marquez matters because Bradley matters.–70108