Pacquiao vs. Bradley II: Bradley blames no socks and spongy canvas for poor footwork in 1st fight

Maddie Meyer

Timothy Bradley claims that not wearing any socks and a spongy mat are to blame for his ankles rolling and falling all over himself in his first fight with Manny Pacquiao.

We've all heard excuses in boxing. Weight, out-of-the-ring distractions, and a poor training camp are some common complaints when it comes to offering up reasons as to why one struggled in the ring. Well, Timothy Bradley has a new one.

According to a report by Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, Bradley claims that his feet were moving around in his shoes because he didn't wear socks, and the canvas was much more spongy than what he was used to when he was training.

"I didn't have the support I needed because I didn't wear any socks and the ring was very spongy. It was very difficult to sit down (on my punches), and that's why my feet gave out, because my feet were moving around inside of my shoes.

On why he decided not to wear socks for the biggest match of his life:

"My ring (in training camp) has a lot harder surface, real firm, and I was able to do it. I was able to do it and it felt really good and I tried it out. It worked. I was able to grab onto the canvas well and it was comfortable for me, so I decided to stick with it during the fight. I did it and when I got in there and felt that surface … Wow! The ring was really spongy, man.

"It was really spongy with a lot of padding. It was a very, very slow, slow ring. My feet were moving around in my shoe and eventually gave out on me. People don't understand that or believe that maybe, but it did. It's what happened."

During the course of the fight, Bradley suffered injuries to both ankles, arriving at the post-fight press conference in a wheelchair. It was a surreal look for someone who had just, officially anyways, won a fight.

"In the second round, I felt a pop in my left foot and it turns out there was ligament damage on the bottom of my foot, right where the arch is at. In the fourth round, I stepped back and I was favoring the one side too much and I twisted my [right] ankle. There was a lot of pushing, man, because the ring was so soft and so spongy. I had no support. With the sock, my foot would have been more compacted, but without it, the foot was more free and just moved around.

"That's what happened in the first fight. I'm going to wear socks in this rematch, I can tell you that."

Personally, I find this to be hilarious. Blaming your performance on not wearing socks? I honestly haven't heard that one before, but it did give me a good laugh. Maybe not as funny as Bradley claiming in the Face-Off that he thought he won eight rounds in the first fight, but it's still pretty funny.

I can't believe he would suddenly not wear socks to the biggest fight of his career. It seems like an unwise thing to do when getting in the ring with one of the best in the world. And wouldn't the canvas have been slow and spongy for Pacquiao too?

Bradley's one of the best in the business, and a genuinely tough fighter in the ring. But his excuse-making since the first fight with Pacquiao has gotten a bit tiresome. It's like he's trying to do his best Juan Manuel Marquez impression.

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