Tim Bradley marvels at the coincidence. Had the junior welterweight titleholder gone through with his original plans to face Amir Khan on Saturday, he might have done so at the risk of missing the birth of his daughter, Jada.
The birth of his first child has put any problems related to boxing – including a lawsuit filed against him by his co-promoters – in perspective.
"I think that this baby might be born on Saturday. So you just think about that," said Bradley, 27. "Monica just might have this baby on Saturday, now ain't that ironic?"
Bradley thought the big day was Tuesday. At 11:30 that night, he was at the bedside of his pregnant wife at a hospital in their hometown of Palm Springs, Calif., believing that she was about to deliver their child.
Bradley watched as his wife of nearly two years was alternately encouraged, poked and prodded by a bevy of nurses, doctors and other hospital.
"She had some contractions and stuff, and she thought that her water had broken," said Bradley, whose wife was nevertheless sent home for bed rest following a false alarm. But then you've got all of these people looking at her and putting their hands down there. That's just a lot."
Bradley has helped raise his wife’s two children — son, Robert, 11, and a daughter, Alaysia, 6 – from a previous marriage as if they’re his own. However, he had never experienced anything like this.
"Going to the hospital for the first time as a father, I was like, 'What?' and, 'Oh my God, they have to do this?', and, 'They have to do that?'" said Bradley. "I mean, they have to run all of these tests. I don't think that a lot of men realize what a woman goes through when a woman is having a baby.
“I certainly didn't realize how much went into it. I had no idea how much pain that causes."
The birth of his child is taking place against the backdrop of the lawsuit, filed against him and co-manager Cameron Dunkin by co-promoters Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson as a result of Bradley's decision to pull out of the Khan fight.
Bradley already was the WBO titleholder when he took Devon Alexander’s WBC belt with a 10-round technical decision in January.
Bradley pocketed $1.2 million for that fight and, according to Shaw, stood to make a minimum of $1.4 million plus an upside of foreign revenue if he had accepted the fight with Khan.
Khan will fight Zab Judah instead on Saturday.
"Tim Bradley owes us another fight, and he owes HBO another fight, and we have first-last in matching. Tim has refused to talk to myself, or Ken Thompson or [Thompson Promotions partner] Alex Camponova," Shaw said.
"I feel that he's gotten really bad advice to have passed up the Amir Khan fight. Tim was getting a minimum of $1.4 million versus 80 [percent] to our 20 for the gross, 50 percent of all of Khan's money from Europe. So it was a very healthy package."
Bradley would not discuss details of the lawsuit but did say that he is glad, in retrospect, that he did not elect to face Khan.
"My daughter wasn't the main reason why I didn't take the fight, but that was one of the reasons. Everybody is doubting me right now, but, you know, I'm old school about this," said Bradley. "You know, Monica, that's my other half, man. I didn't take those wedding vows for no reason.
"I mean, the way I'm feeling right now, mentally, I'm like, 'I made the right choice.'"
If Bradley had chosen to pass up the Khan fight strictly for the love of his wife, he certainly would not been the first to have emphasized family over boxing.
In February of last year, Robert Guerrero vacated his junior lightweight title and eschewed an opportunity to face Michael Katsidis in order to devote time to his wife, Casey, who was battling leukemia.
On May 6 in Las Vegas, Guerrero received The Bill Crawford Award for Courage In The Face of Adversity at the Boxing Writers Association of America Dinner for his devotion to his wife.
"You know, a woman is unbelievable to me dude. I mean, I just have so much respect for a woman who is truly fighting for something," said Bradley, "And, in my case, that goes especially for my wife Monica, a woman that's fighting for her child. I had never experienced that until last night."
During the post-fight press conference following the victory over Alexander, a pregnant Monica Bradley sat before her husband in the audience as the fighter — displaying a large cut over one of his eyes — emphasized the importance of family to those who would listen.
"My wife, I have to give special thanks to my wife,” he said. “As you know, I don't leave home to go to training camp. I don't feel that I have to leave home and leave your family and your kids to get ready for a fight. I still go on with my day-to-day activities. I still pick up my kids from school. There are really no distractions at home for me. I love being around my kids. I love being around my wife.
"They helped me to get through this camp with no problems and no stress. Nothing. If you focus, you've got it right here [Bradley pointed to his head]."
That focus will be tested even more so in the coming days as the Bradley’s plan for the arrival of Jada, named after Jada Pinkett Smith.
"Monica's at full term, so we're just waiting, because she's due any day now," Bradley said. "Now you will get a call from me when she comes, especially if she has the baby on Saturday."