MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. said he never told Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum that he lost to Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao in their welterweight clash last June 9 in Las Vegas.
Bradley was awarded the split-decision victory against Pacquiao despite being outlanded, outpunched and generally overwhelmed by the Filipino slugger throughout the 12 round match.
In various interviews, Arum claimed that he approached Bradley before the decision was announced, and the American boxer admitted defeat.
"I went over to Bradley before the decision and he said, 'I tried hard but I couldn’t beat the guy,'" Arum said.
In an interview with Boxing Scene, Bradley denied ever making that statement.
"I never said that I didn’t beat this guy. I just said I did my best. I wouldn’t say that I couldn’t beat him. Why would I say that?" Bradley said.
Before the fight, Bradley was so confident of victory that he printed out promotional materials for a November 10 rematch against Pacquiao.
He did not seem so convinced after the decision was announced, however, telling Mario Lopez in the post-fight interview that he will have to "watch the tape" to see if he won or not.
But Bradley is now convinced of victory. He told RingTV that he and his corner believe he defeated Pacquiao "fair and square."
"I felt that I won. My trainer told me right after the fight that I beat him," Bradley said in Boxing Scene.
Still, Bradley had to admit that Pacquiao gave him fits inside the boxing ring.
"I have been in the ring with faster guys, but he is a great fighter. When he puts his punches together, all of his punches are solid. There aren’t any weak punches," Bradley said.
"He is a lot smarter than I thought he was," he added.
Bradley added that having been declared the winner against Pacquiao, he has proven that he belongs in the conversation as one of the elite boxers in the world today.
"I am right there with him. He couldn’t knock me out like he was supposed to. I wasn't supposed to be in the ring with him. I fought toe-to-toe with him at times, then I fought smarter and boxed from the outside," he said.
The Pacquiao-Bradley decision has been criticized and derided by boxing media and fans alike. Very few agree with Bradley’s assertion that he was the winner; indeed, most of the writers at ringside had Pacquiao winning comfortably.
Because of the controversy in scoring, the bout is now being investigated by the Nevada State Attorney General’s office and is being reviewed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Organization.