Timothy Bradley may not have been one of the judges sitting ringside who awarded him a close split decision over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012, but he may as well have been. Some of the fans who became very emotional following Pacquiao's first defeat in seven years, apparently sent Bradley hate mail, including a death threat.
According to an article on RingTV.com, Bradley and his wife would lay in bed and read the hate mail. Bradley mentions that he didn't want to box or even live anymore.
"Oh, hell yeah. Hell yeah. No doubt, man," said Bradley, when asked if he considered taking his own life due to criticism he received after defeating Pacquiao. "Me and my wife, we would sit there, man, in the bed and read all of this stuff. We would get phone calls. Once the death threat rolled in I was like, 'This is ridiculous.'"
One of the more frightening warnings came in the mail, according to Bradley.
"Written. No address. Just a letter. Plus I got letters from like fans belittling me. They were just crazy. Telling me, like, 'You're not a true champion and don't go patting yourself on the back because you didn't win,'" said Bradley, who is 30.
"I was like, 'This sucks.' I was the laughing stock of the media. So, I was like, that was a bad moment. I was like, 'I don't even want to box anymore. I don't even want to live anymore. This sucks. This is not what it was supposed to be like.'
"The turning point," said Bradley, "was getting away."
"I stopped reading everything…I don't really read too much anymore because of a lot of the negative things that I see. Once I got away, I started to realize what was important in my life and who was important…I realized what I needed to do and how I needed to change," said Bradley, a father of five.
"Now, it's like, I can accept criticism. I don't care anymore. I got told every word that you could possibly have said to me and now, don't nothing affect me. You can tell me I suck and I'm the worst fighter in the world and that I'm a horrible human being. I know who I am but I'm a great fighter."
"At the time, when I was going through stuff, the whole controversy, it was terrible. It was terrible for my family. But I look back at it now and I'm, like, thankful that it happened. I'm so thankful that it happened. We wouldn't have never gotten the Ruslan fight if the controversy had never happened. I wouldn't have never gotten that Marquez fight because Marquez didn't want to fight me. He thought that I was damaged goods. But after the Marquez fight and I beat him, now Manny's trying to rebound. It's the perfect set-up. It's the perfect time," said Bradley.
We've covered this before, but it's worth repeating that Bradley simply fought as hard as he could. That he was not as good as Pacquiao on that night two years ago shouldn't make him a villain. He doesn't do himself any favors by claiming that he believes he won it 8-4, but how often do we see boxers admit they didn't deserve a decision?
People who send a person death threats because he got a decision in a boxing match are insane.