LAS VEGAS — In January, undefeated RING No. 8-rated WBO junior welterwieght titleholder Tim Bradley was widely criticized for being a dirty fighter when it was perceived that his intentional headbutts led to an 11th-round technical decision that dethroned Devon Alexander as WBC beltholder.
The Bradley-Alexander verdict was decided on the cards after it was ruled that the southpaw Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs) could no longer continue as a result of a large laceration that bled profusely following an accidental clash of heads.
The 28-year-old Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) used his head, yet again, during Saturday night’s eighth-round knockout of 40-year-old southpaw former four-time titleholder Joel Casamayor (38-6-1, 22 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
But this time, Bradley did it the right way, remaining composed throughout the entire promotion as well as the fight.
Bradley, who is African American, endured the use of the N-word by Casamayor during the pre-bout press conference, as well as low-blows and excessive holding from the veteran former Cuban Olympic gold medalist on the way to dropping him three times during their clash.
“If he used his head, we were ready for it. That’s why you saw me pull my head back, to get away from the headbutts. There were rarely any headbutts and no cuts from headbutts in the fight, so no more writing about headbutts,” said Bradley.
“But man, he hit me with like six low blows. Right on the cup. The referee was telling him to pick it up. All of his holding, you know, we worked on that in practice. I knew that he was going to hold me, so I fought a great fight, I took care of business and I didn’t use my head, didn’t do any headbutts.”
Bradley’s body shot forced the towel to be thrown in by the corner of Casamayor, who was penalized for holding in the fourth round, dropped with a fifth-round body shot and ruled to have been knocked down in the sixth with a left hand.
“When I felt comfortable digging down to the body, once I felt his power, that’s when I made my adjustments in the ring and went to the body. My corner was telling me to go to the body earlier, but I was still wary of his left hand,” said Bradley.
“Casamayor has a really awkward left hand, so I would just step off to the side and he would try to catch me at wierd angles. He caught me with it on occasion, but once I felt like I wasn’t threatened, that’s when I went to the body.”
Bradley scored only his second stoppage victory of his past 10 bouts, and the first since a fifth-round knockout of Nasser Athumani in April of 2007.