Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov engaged in a vicious Fight of the Year candidate last night, with Bradley putting himself in serious danger much of the fight, surviving in the end.
Timothy Bradley's thrilling win over Ruslan Provodnikov saw the defending WBO welterweight titlist pay a heavy price for a narrow victory, as trainer Joel Diaz says that his fighter was "hurt in every round."
The news is probably no surprise to anyone who watched the fight. Bradley (30-0, 12 KO) took some monster shots from Provodnikov, and managed to stay on his feet through some really heavy punishment. The 29-year-old fighter gave back plenty, but in terms of pure damage done, got the short end of the stick compared to Provodnikov.
Bradley was dropped in the first round, though it was erroneously ruled a slip, and officially went down late in the 12th and final round, taking a knee as Provodnikov battered him around the ring, a last-ditch effort to simply survive the fight, and a clever move.
Bradley was concussed at least from round two on, and maybe even from round one. He fought, quite frankly, a very stupid fight, one that put him in harm's way, and one that perhaps he felt he had to, in order to gain the respect of the fans. I don't think anyone doubts his heart, his fortitude, or his toughness anymore. Bradley can't take many more beatings like last night's, though. Nobody can.