By Keith Idec
Timothy Bradley boxed 36 rough rounds against Manny Pacquiao, but it was another Pacquiao fight that convinced Bradley to retire.
Bradley wasn’t sure if he wanted to fight again when he arrived in Australia to call Pacquiao’s upset defeat to Jeff Horn for ESPN last month. But after looking at a battered, bloodied Pacquiao following his controversial loss July 2 in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane, Bradley realized he didn’t want to box again.
He had a conversation with his wife/manager, Monica Bradley, following that fight that cemented the Palm Springs, California native’s decision to retire following a 12-year pro career in which he won junior welterweight and welterweight world titles and made millions of dollars. Bradley (32-3-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC), who’ll turn 34 on August 29, relayed that story to co-hosts Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney on Monday night during an episode of SiriusXM’s “At The Fights.”
“I broadcasted the Manny Pacquiao fight in Australia,” said Bradley, who publicly confirmed his retirement late Saturday night. “And I was sitting there and I was watching the fight, and I just saw like Manny kinda wither away slightly – not crazy. He won the fight, but it was just like, I saw him all bloody and just, you know, beat up, and just been through hell. And I looked over to my wife, and I said, ‘Hey, I wanna talk to you after this fight.’ And from there, that’s when I was just like, ‘You know, I don’t wanna be in here fighting for a paycheck. You know, I have my legacy. I’ve done it. I don’t wanna be in here and take that type of punishment anymore. I don’t think I can.’
“And the old Bradley, like the Bradley that was on the rise, was like, I would look at Horn and I would look at all of his mistakes, and I would say, ‘I would eat that guy alive. Bring him on now.’ But the Bradley mindset now is, ‘I don’t know if I wanna go through all that torture, go through all that pain and go through that mess anymore. I don’t have the guts for it anymore, man. I’m gonna have to bag out.’ And that’s the thing – that’s the reason why. You can’t be one foot in, guys, and one foot out in any sport. You can’t just do a sport or anything just for the money. I left a lot of money on the table. I’m not mad at that. I just don’t wanna end up getting hurt, you know, if I’m not mentally ready.”
Bradley hasn’t fought since Pacquiao dropped him twice and won their third fight by unanimous decision in April 2016 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.