LAS VEGAS — Newly-crowned titleholder Tim Bradley told RingTV.com on Sunday that he is in a wheelchair with splints on each foot as a result of injuries suffered in Saturday’s fight with Manny Pacquiao, whom Bradley feels he legitimately dethroned as WBO welterweight beltholder despite the controversy surrounding his split-decision victory at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Top Rank public relations director, Lee Samuel, said that Bradley was released from the University Medical Center at 5 a.m. on Sunday after having received testing, examinations and X-rays on his feet.
Bradley said that his left foot is fractured, his right, sprained, that both feet are in splints and that he will be wheelchair-bound for some time.
Bradley (29-0, 12 knockouts) said that he was hobbled from the second round on after hearing a “pop” in his left foot, and that his right became damaged somewhere during the middle of the fight.
Bradley endured, however, to end a a 15-bout winning streak by Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) that had included eight knockouts, although the verdict has been shrouded in controversy.
Judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford had it for Bradley, 115-113, and Jerry Roth had it for Pacquiao by the same score. RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield scored it for Pacquiao, 115-113.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, was outraged by the verdict, and told RingTV.com that he will ask for an investigation of the fight’s officials.
“Manny Pacquiao clearly won the fight by, like, 10 rounds to two or 11 rounds to one. It wasn’t even a close fight. The decision is inexplicable. It’s not really for me to comment about the decision, it’s up to the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” said Arum.
“On Monday, we’re calling on the attorney general for the state of Nevada to do an investigation to see who if anybody is responsible. We want them to tell everybody what happened so we can get clarification.”
Pacquiao out-landed Bradley in 10 of the 12 rounds, with a 253-to-159 advantage in total punches, 63-51 in jabs and 190-108 in power punches. Bradley out-landed Pacquiao in only the ninth round, while the 10th was even in punches connected with each landing 14 punches.
An eight-division titlewinner who was in his 60th career fight, Pacquiao last suffered defeat against Erik Morales by unanimous decision in March of 2005.
During that time, Pacquiao has twice stopped Morales, earned split- and majority decisions over Juan Manuel Marquez, knocked out Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton, and decisioned Marco Antonio Barrera, whom he also had knocked out in 2003.
Arum said that there is a rematch clause for Bradley to face Pacquiao again on Nov. 10, that is, if Pacquiao does not elect to take a fourth bout with four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao won a disputed majority decision over Marquez in November after having previously battled through a draw and a split-decision victory with him, respectively.
RingTV.com spoke to Bradley on Sunday in the following interview, below.
RingTV.com: So what are your thoughts a day after the biggest win of your career?
Tim Bradley: What’s up, man? And the new! And the new, baby!
RingTV.com: So how do you feel?
TB: Well, besides two banged up ankles. I mean, one foot and one ankle, I feel great.
RingTV.com: Your thoughts on the decision?
TB: Well I’ve seen the tape. I won the fight, without a doubt. You could say I won the first round, give or take the second. Lost the third, lost the fourth, lost the fifth, maybe even lost the sixth, you know, give or take
But from seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 and 12, I clearly dominated those rounds, man. I dominated those rounds. I know that I won those rounds.
I mean, this guy was supposed to stop me. He was supposed to knock me out. But I took his best punches, and I fought back hard. You know what I mean?
My corner and I honestly feel that I won the fight. Fair and square. It was not controversial decision or nothing like that. It is what it is, man.
The judges got it right, that’s what I feel. There were some close rounds in there that they probably gave to me, because, like I said, I fought every minute of every damn round.
They were probably like, “this dude is only fighting in the first half of the round or the last 30 seconds of a rounds.” They probably caught on to that.
RingTV.com: How much were your injuries a factor?
TB: Let me tell you this: If I had both of my feet, from the second round on and the whole fight, then it would have been a completely different situation. You know, I couldn’t be as moble as I wanted to be.
You know, I had to suck it up and to fight through pain. You know, it hurt like hell in there, man. Especially after the second round, going back to my corner before the third.
You know, I told my trainer, Joel Diaz, that I might have broken a bone in my left foot because I heard a pop. And he said, “well, what do you want to do?”
And I said, “well, I want to continue on and to fight like a champion.” I could have just said, ‘You know what, I just can’t fight anymore.”
But that would have been saying, “forget about the fans, forget about the fight” and just collected a paycheck. But I grinded it out, man, like a warrior and like a champion.
RingTV.com: So what is the condition of your feet?
TB: Well, you should see me. I’m sitting here, and I’ve got two bandages over my feet. There are splints on both of my freaking ankles. I went to the the hospital because of my ankles.
But I have two splints. I’ve got one on my right ankle and another on my left foot. There is a splint on the top part of my left foot where the left foot is really bad.
I’ve got a sprain on the right one, but the left one is really bad because I heard a pop on the top part of my foot like a bone moved or something. So, I fought through all of that.
RingTV.com: What was the diagnosis?
TB: They couldn’t really come to a conclusion. They didn’t do an MRI. They said that the bones were so small that they couldn’t really see anything.
They did a CAT scan and they said that they couldn’t really see anything. They couldn’t see a fractur or anything like that. But they said that you could have some torn ligaments or torn ligaments in your foot.
On both side. So I need to stay off of my feet and that’s pretty much it. They said that you need to go and get an MRI done and get more detail. So, man, I’m in a wheelchair.
RingTV.com: How painful was it?
TB: It was painful, but I had to fight through all of that. You know what I’m mean? But just wait to until the rematch in November, when I have both of my ankles and both of my legs.
You know what I mean? It’s going to be a completely different fight. I’m going to dominate Manny Pacquiao from first round on. I’m telling you, man. I’m telling you.
This guy is a good fighter, good power, but I made some mistakes in there. But toward the end I started figuring out what I’ve got to do.
I fought this man because I had to at times because of the judges, and I fought hard and for the entertainment value of the fans.
I wanted to let them know that, hey, “I’m here to fight and I’m here to do my business and I’m not afraid of Manny Pacquiao.” I’m not afraid of his power and I can take whatever he can dish out, and I took it, man.
Photo/Chris Farina – Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com