By Ryan Maquiñana
Timothy Bradley was all smiles at the 2013 Boxing Writers Association of America dinner Thursday night at New York City’s Capitale.
At the beginning of the evening, the welterweight titleholder was reunited with the second half of the early front-runner of Fight of the Year, Ruslan Provodnikov, who promptly asked him for a rematch as the two men shook hands.
Bradley obliged and told Provodnikov that he would get his return bout sometime in the future. After the Russian challenger left, Bradley spoke about the redemption he felt after standing toe-to-toe with his last foe en route to victory, especially given the controversial nature and aftermath from his penultimate outing against Manny Pacquiao last year.
“What I want the boxing fans to take from that [Provodnikov] fight is that I have the heart of a lion,” Bradley told BoxingScene.com/CSNBayArea.com. “With my dedication to the sport, my dedication to my craft, hard work and dedication definitely does pay off. Believe in yourself, even if nobody believes in you.
“It gives you something to fight for. It gives you inspiration. The fact that I came, and I was hurt. I battled back, got hurt again, battled back, and to win a decision—a unanimous decision. And I was hurt several times in the fight. I think that’s unbelievable. I think that speaks loudly.”
As far as whether he would prefer a rematch with Pacquiao or a matchup with Juan Manuel Marquez, Bradley was unequivocal with his answer.
“I want Marquez,” Bradley told BoxingScene.com. “He’s the guy who knocked out Pacquiao. You got two guys who defeated Pacquiao going at it. Let’s see who the best is. A lot of people, especially after seeing me fight Provodnikov, a lot of people will bet against me, but I tell you this. Don’t bet against me because you’ll lose your money again.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.