MANILA, Philippines – World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. is ready to move forward with his career and move past the controversy that hounded him last year.
In June 2012, Bradley shocked the boxing world when he defeated Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao via split decision to take the WBO belt.
But instead of raising his profile, the victory only served to hold Bradley back as most believed he lost to Pacquiao. To make matters worse, he suffered a foot injury during the fight and was thus out of action for eight months.
Bradley is now set to return to the ring against Pacquiao’s sparring partner, Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia, and the unbeaten American said he has put the Pacquaio fight behind him.
“I don’t even think about Pacquiao,” Bradley said in a RingTV report. “It doesn’t matter to me. At the end of the day, I’m still undefeated and I’m still the champ. I leave the past in the past.”
“The whole Pacquiao situation, whatever. It’s irrelevant,” he added.
Even though he was the first man to beat Pacquiao since 2005, Bradley was not given a rematch by the Filipino legend and also missed out on potential big money fights against Juan Manuel Marquez and Floyd Mayweather.
Even so, Bradley says he is “just glad to be back.”
“I want to be active this year. Three fights is what I’ve asked Top Rank and (manager) Cameron Dunkin. I prefer to fight three times a year,” he said.
Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight title against Provodnikov on March 16 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. – With a report from Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News North America