Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Bradley praises Provodnikov, wants Marquez next
Tim Bradley: "To be honest with you, I want Juan Manuel Marquez. I want the guy that beat Manny Pacquiao. Two guys that beat Manny, you know. Let's go at it. Let's settle it."
NEW YORK -- WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley said he fought with too much emotion during last month's unanimous decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov, whom he considers the hardest puncher he has ever faced.
Bradley (30-0, 12 knockouts) rose from a 12th-round knockdown to defeat Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) in defense of the title he won by disputed split-decision in June over Manny Pacquiao.
"I went in there kind of aggressively and I was looking to take him out and I found out that this kid could really punch, man," said Bradley, 29. "Man, I have never been hit that hard in my life. I've been in there with some big punchers and no one has ever hit me as hard as this guy."
Bradley, his wife, Monica, and Provodnikov were in attendance at Thursday night's Boxing Writers' Association of America dinner at The Capitale, where Bradley's promotional and managerial stablemate RING junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire was named Fighter of The Year, his trainer, Robert Garcia, Trainer of The Year, and Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez were honored for the Fight of The Year in the wake of Marquez's sixth-round stoppage of Pacquiao in December.
Bradley may also be ringside at Radio City Music Hall for tomorrow night's HBO-televised clash between Donaire and WBA beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux. Bradley is also in town, with manager, Cameron Dunkin, to speak with Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, regarding his next fight.
Arum informed RingTV.com on Wednesday that he expects to meet this week with Bradley, Pacquiao's advisor, Michael Koncz, and Marquez with the goal of selecting a September opponent for Pacquiao by no later than Sunday.
Dunkin said he met with Bradley and his wife late last month regarding the fighter's future, adding, "I would love to see him fight Pacquiao again. I love that fight."
Prior to the BWAA dinner, Bradley and Provodnikov embraced, posed for photos and exchanged compliments about their mutual performance, which has received praise as a potential 2013 candidate for Fight-of-The Year.
"Nobody gave this guy a chance right here, but he proved to everybody that he's one of the best fighters in the world. I'm letting you know right now that any 140- or 147-pounder, right here, I'm telling you, this man can take them out, I promise you. I've got unbelievable respect for Provodnikov. He's a great fighter. Great warrior. I mean, he displayed his talent in the ring. I knew that it was going to be a tough, tough challenge, but that's all that I've faced is tough, tough guys," said Bradley, with his left arm on Provodnikov's right shoulder.
This guy came up short that night, but he will be a world champion. Like I said, he will be a world champion. I told his promoter that he needs to get him a fight with one of the top 140-pounders, or the top 147-pounders, and I'm telling you, he could beat him. He's coming back, and he's going to get an even bigger payday on HBO, because HBO loves him. One day, we will fight again, and you know it's all up to the promoters. If it's something that the promoters want to do, hey, I'm all for it. I would do a rematch in a heartbeat. I would love it."
Provodnikov was equally complimentary.
"First of all, I was looking for you after the fight because I wanted to tell you that I had a lot of respect for you before the fight, and you gave me the chance. I had even more for you after the fight. You're a true champion and it was a great fight, that's what boxing is all about,"said Provodnikov, through a translator.
"I'm still hoping that one day, we can fight again, because that would be awesome. I'm very proud to be standing next to you, and I was very proud to be in the ring with you. You're were and still are a true champion, and I feel good about our mutual respect for each otther. That's what it's all about in this sport."
In the wake of defeating Pacquiao, Bradley said he received death threats, which skewed his thinking heading into the fight with Provodnikov.
"People talked about my wife, people talked about my kids, I've had people send me death threats because of the Pacquiao fight, and because I won," said Bradley, during an interview prior to facing Provodnikov.
Below are more of the thoughts expressed by Bradley on Thursday night.
"My back was loaded and I was just full of emotion. Just everything I have been through over the past 10 months, man, it's been dreadful, dude. I'm sure that you saw the post-fight interviews and everything. It was just a bad 10 months, man. Dealing with the controversy and dealing with the media and fans and everybody, it has just been tough. That was all weighing on me going into the fight, you know?"
Video by Bill Emes
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org