Bradley: No shower, no socks

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 29 2014 03:45 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2014 11:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines - This one’s good enough for Ripley’s.

Believe it or not, Timothy Bradley said the reason he injured his feet during his June 2012 encounter with Manny Pacquiao is that he wore no socks inside the ring.

“I didn’t have the support I needed because I didn’t wear any socks and the ring was very spongy,” Bradley told Yahoo! Sports.

“It was very difficult to sit down (on my punches), and that’s why my feet gave out, because my feet were moving around inside of my shoes,” he said.

Bradley won a hotly-disputed decision against Pacquiao, and showed up at the post-fight press conference in a wheelchair.

The American with a perfect 31-0 record said he got used to wearing no socks as he trained for the Pacquiao fight but didn’t feel comfortable inside the MGM ring.

Bradley told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports that the difference in the firmness of the mats caused his feet to hurt as he boxed 12 rounds with Pacquiao.

“My ring has a lot harder surface, real firm, and I was able to do it. I was able to do it and it felt really good and I tried it out. It worked,” he said.

It was entirely different on fight night.

“It was really spongy with a lot of padding. It was a very, very slow, slow ring. My feet were moving around in my shoe and eventually gave out on me. People don’t understand that or believe that maybe, but it did. It’s what happened,” he said.

A couple of weeks ago, Bradley openly said as part of his ritual he doesn’t shower on the week of the fight.

When Pacquiao drew with Juan Manuel Marquez due to blisters in 2004, the Filipino said it was because he wore the wrong pair of socks that caused blisters on his toes.

Bradley said he won’t make the same mistake twice and vowed to fight Pacquiao in their April 12 rematch on two good feet.

“That’s what happened in the first fight. I’m going to wear socks in this rematch, I can tell you that,” he said.

Bradley felt he was the better fighter, and that he deserved the victory which gave him the WBO welterweight title.

“Honestly, after the first round, I said to myself, ‘This is the best fighter in the world? You serious?’” he said.

“I didn’t feel he was that much more superior than I was. I was like, ‘I’m right in here. I’m able to hit him. I can move on him.’ I also felt like I was smarter than him. I felt I could control the fight a lot better if I’d have had my feet underneath me,” he added.