Tim Bradley contemplated suicide following controversial win over Manny Pacquiao
It was a fight that went the wrong way, and the boxing world was pissed.
Tim Bradley had his hand raised as he was announced the winner by split decision in June of 2012 and frenzy immediately ensued. The analysts covering the event were stunned as Bradley was determined the winner – it was clearly Pacquiao that should have had his hand raised.
Boxing fans both old and new went nuts. It was an immediate controversy and fans wanted answers. The WBO took matters into their own hands and reviewed the fight, siding with the boxing community that thought Pacquiao was the clear winner.
Five judges were tasked with a review of the fight, and all five of them gave the victory to Pacquiao. Per Boxing rules, a reviewed fight cannot be overturned – but it was clear that Bradley got away with one. Even gambling companies decided to return money to people that lost on the fight, something unheard of.
The backlash was intense. Social media tough guys spoke their minds, hate mail was delivered, and Bradley could do nothing about it. He was dubbed a winner by official judges – it was not his fault – but people kept attacking him.
They got after him so much that it made the undefeated boxer hate the sport. It even made him hate himself, so much so that he contemplated suicide as fans kept heckling him.
“Did I consider suicide? Hell, yeah,” said Bradley, via the Daily Mail. “I would be sitting in bed with my wife thinking about what people were saying and writing about me and I was thinking ‘not only I don’t want to box anymore – I don’t even want to live anymore. This sucks. Its not worth it’.”
As he prepares for the highly anticipated rematch on Saturday April 12th, Bradley can only think of beating Pacquiao with no controversy.
“I have to prove to everyone that I can beat Manny, even though I think I won the first fight,” Bradley said. ‘What did I do wrong the first time? I came to the ring fully prepared. I did my job properly. It was a close fight which could have gone either way. Whatever the judges, decided it wasn’t my fault. Why blame me? That’s what I was getting from the world.”
He says that his wife helped him through some deep depression, and he actually was able to start laughing at the critics who once drove him to thinking about death.
“I would go into a gas station and see guys looking at me. They wouldn’t say anything to my face but as they sped away they would scream through the window that I didn’t win the fight and I should give the belt back.
One or two tried to provoke me but I wasn’t going to risk a lawsuit by giving any of them a slap.
‘The funniest incident was when a lady came up to me and said she was a great fan of mine but still had to ask me when I was fighting again. When I told her I was getting back in the ring with Manny she wished me the best of luck but added that she hoped I would win this time! And that was one of my fans!”
He can laugh at it now, but if he would have succumbed to the pressure that was mounting, it might not have been pretty.
Fans like myself that were outraged over the decision are glad there will be a rematch Saturday, and hopefully it ends with no controversy whatsoever.
Bradley remains undefeated, but since the loss Pacquiao has gone 1-1, losing by KO to Juan Manuel Marquez and winning by unanimous decision against Brandon Rios.
The fight can be ordered via PPV on Saturday, April 12th and starts at 9:0 PM ET, Live from the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada.