By Jake Donovan
It’s been a heck of a week for Timothy Bradley Jr. Days after signing to a lucrstive April 12 rematch with Manny Pacquiao, the unbeaten welterweight completed a near sweep of awards season when his 12-round war with Ruslan Provodnikov was named Fight of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).
"It is an honor to not only be nominated but to have won Fight of the Year,” Bradley said when learning of the news. “I thank all who voted for my fight with Ruslan as well as Ruslan for being in the ring with me."
Their showdown last March at the Home Depot Center (now StubHub Center) in Carson, Calif. managed to stand the test of time, and deservedly so. The bout – which was also recognized by Boxingscene.com as the 2013 Fight of the Year - was a vicious battle that saw both fighters at their best and worst over the course of the contest. Bradley survived a hellacious bum rush from Provodnikov both early and late in the bout, racking up enough rounds in between to barely hold on for a unanimous decision win.
Even more remarkable was the fact that the undefeated Californian unknowingly spent much of the fight concussed.
Both fighters went on to post huge wins later in the year. Bradley scored a well-earned split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in October, just one week before Provodnikov scored an upset 10th round stoppage win over Mike Alvarado on the road just outside of Denver, Colorado.
Bradley also received honorable mention honors for Fighter of the Year from several outlets, including Boxingscene.com and the BWAA.
His upcoming showdown with Pacquiao will take place April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The venue also hosted their first fight in June 2012, where Bradley scored a highly controversial split decision win.
Terms for the rematch included a contract extension with promoter Top Rank Inc., which will remain valid regardless of the outcome of the bout. Bradley’s guaranteed purse for the April 12 bout is a career high $6 million, with the opportunity to earn more based on how well the pay-per-view performs.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox