MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Unbeaten American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. suffered a foot injury in the early rounds of his WBO welterweight clash against Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao, which the American won via a controversial decision.
|Timothy Bradley Jr. of the U.S. speaks during a news conference from a wheelchair after injuring his left foot during the WBO welterweight champion fight against Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada June 9, 2012. Photo by R. Marsh Starks, Reuters.
Bradley arrived in the post-fight press conference in a wheel chair and told the assembled media that he believed he broke his foot after the second round, wherein he stepped on referee Robert Byrd’s foot.
"I went back to my corner and said I think I might have broken my foot," Bradley said.
His manager, Cameron Dunkin, confirmed to Boxing Scene that Bradley had a twisted right ankle and a fractured left foot.
"I told my trainer 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?'" Bradley said in an interview with RingTV.
"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,'" he added.
"But I grinded it out, like a warrior and a champion."
Bradley told RingTV that both his feet were on splints and bandaged.
"I've got a sprain on the right one, but the left one is really bad... So, I fought through all of that," he said.
He added that if he had not injured his feet, "then it would have been a completely different situation."
"I couldn’t be as mobile as I wanted to be," he said.
Sports analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz is questioning Bradley's injury, however.
In an interview on ANC's "Headstart" Monday, Nathanielsz said: "He said he hurt both ankles early in the fight, well, how come you ran late in the fight?"
"That, to me, was a psychological ploy to win some sympathy. He’s not injured in both ankles because he kept running in the later rounds," he said.
"If you have two ankles that are aching so badly and are injured, how can you run? And he did not even move awkwardly. I think that’s a gimmick to win sympathy," Nathanielsz added.
Bradley won with scores of 113-115, 115-113, and 115-113, becoming the new WBO welterweight champion in the process. He won his 29th straight fight and ended Pacquiao’s remarkable 15-fight winning streak.
But very few in the media believe Bradley was the rightful winner, with writers from RingTV, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and other news outlets saying that Pacquiao overwhelmed the American in the 12-round bout.
Bradley, however, is convinced that he won.
"I've seen the tape. I won the fight, without a doubt," he declared.