Timothy Bradley spoke with ESPN Radio Chicago about his controversial win over Manny Pacquiao last Saturday night, and said that it's ridiculous to expect him to give the belt back, or to say the fight was fixed.
Here's what he said about the idea that he should return the WBO welterweight title, and the way people have reacted online:
"Definitely on Facebook and Twitter, reading people's comments, e-mails and people are sending me like death threats, telling me to die, telling me to give the belt back, ‘if you're a man' and all this hate mail. Just people being really rude like I'm the one to blame. ‘If you're a real champion and want any respect from me then you'd give the belt back.' I'm like ‘dude I earned the belt and I'm not giving the belt back.' Anybody out there that thinks I should give the belt back, the belt is not going back. I deserve the belt. I won the fight regardless of what anyone thinks. The judges thought I won the fight and that is that. I'm not the one to blame here. Don't be pointing the finger at me, don't be sending me crazy e-mails and things like that because I really don't care."
The first part, of course, is inexcusable behavior, but the internet is full of dipshits, just like regular face-to-face life, except 100 times worse because no one's worried about being punched in the face for posting "I hope you die" to a Facebook account.
The latter part I find almost as silly, and sort of childishly idealistic, but I guess I get what people mean. As I noted before, Bradley can't just give the belt back to Manny -- they'd vacate it if he decided to give it up, and then if Pacquaio-Bradley II didn't happen and they went separate ways, guess who's more likely to get the title shot? Pacquiao. Not Bradley.
And maybe that's fine with you. "Well that's what he deserves! He didn't win!" Fine, great, terrific. But that's not how boxing works, and if you pay enough attention, you know that. I always use the great line from Unforgiven on these subjects with boxing: "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."
Boxing is a cutthroat, ruthless, cruel sport and business. If things were as they deserved to be, boxing would look a whole lot different than it does right now, in so many ways. I'm not saying that wouldn't be better. I'm just saying it's unrealistic. It's hippy nonsense! Get a haircut!
(Before any stupid hippies get the wrong idea here, let me just say that in real life, I'm about 45% redneck, 35% hippy, and 20% guy who gives a crap.)
Bradley also says that allegations of a fix are ridiculous:
"Oh my goodness that is crazy man. I don’t understand how people can think that honestly the fight is fixed. You can’t pay me enough money to bail on a fight or for Manny Pacquiao to bail on a fight. We’re fighters and we get in the ring and we’re going to win. We were knocking each other’s head off. I got hit with some big shots, I took them and ate them dude. For a fight to be fixed that’s just impossible. I think that’s just stupid. Being that Manny Pacquiao is his freaking cash cow, that’s the biggest fighter in boxing right now next to Floyd Mayweather so why would he want him to lose? That makes no sense to me. I really don’t understand how people can say that. I felt that I was going to win the fight from day one and I ended up winning the fight. On a controversial split decision or whatever but it is what it is but no, the fight is not fixed at all man. I fought the best I can and Pacquiao fought the best he can that night. The judges are the ones to look at. They scored the fight. Not Bob Arum, not myself and not Pacquiao. They have nothing to do with this. It all boils down to the judges so if anybody wants to come to anything, wants to sit down and watch the fight with the judges and let them explain to you why they did it the way they did it."