Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why Tim Bradley Is Unappreciated

People are strange. You don't have to have to be a Jim Morrison fan to realize that. If you want to see just how odd people can be, take a look at boxing fans. We endlessly discuss, philosophize and guess at the future of someone like Adrien Broner, a fighter of questionable skill and character, yet yawn and roll our eyes every time Tim Bradley is mentioned.

Why is that? Would anyone for a single minute think Broner could best Bradley in the ring at this point? Would anyone for a single SECOND prefer to have their kids emulate the likes of Broner over the likes of Bradley, a hard working and devoted parent? What exactly is it about us that we'd rather give more of our time to Broner than to Bradley? This is a sincere question, by the way, not an act of finger pointing.

I'm sure it all has something to do with human nature. There's an allure to the darkness, after all. It's why movies like "Goodfellas" are so timeless. It's why Billy the Kid nearly got a pardon well over a century after murdering a New Mexico lawman. It's why bad boys "get all the love."

In the end, however, it's the bad boys that generally crash hard. Or in the case of Broner, keep crashing hard (is he ever going to win another major fight at the rate he's going?). Guys like Bradley, on the other hand, keep striving, keep challenging themselves, and keep succeeding.

So, is there any chance at all that Bradley will be get the adulation of fans without becoming a complete jerk in the process? Indeed there is, but I don't think Bradley should take it. For the way to work his way into the hearts of contemporary fans is for Bradley to become a warrior rather than the craftsman he should be.

Bradley tried the warrior bit with Provodnikov, remember?  Sure, people started admiring the guy, but he risked doing serious damage to himself. Think those admiring fans would care if Bradley had ended up being seriously hurt? Bradley is at his best when he fights like he did against Marquez. The fans may not like it, but it gives him success.

And success, in the end, is what will secure Bradley's legacy - with or without the love of the public.

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