Bradley: I considered suicide
Timothy Bradley has admitted that the controversy surrounding his victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2012 almost drove him to suicide.
The pair will go toe-to-toe in a mega-money rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday, but the original fight caused outrage in the boxing world when Bradley ended Pacquiao's seven-year unbeaten streak and took his WBO welterweight title by way of a split decision.
And Bradley says the public abuse and death threats he received as a result led to what the American describes as the "darkest time in my life".
The decision heard round the world
- On June 9, 2012, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Timothy Bradley beat Manny Pacquiao by way of split decision, with two of the judges scoring it 115-113 to Bradley and the other 115-113 to Pacquiao.
- But according to Compubox, Pacquiao was ahead in punches landed, power punches landed, percentage of punches landed, and percentage of power punches landed.
- As a result of the controversial scoring, a special five-judge panel was created by WBO president Paco Valcarcel to review the fight.
- All five judges scored in favour of Pacquiao, but WBO rules do not allow the decision to be overturned, with the most action they can take is to order a rematch.
"Did I consider suicide? Hell yeah," he told the Daily Mail. "I would be sitting in bed with my wife thinking about what people were saying and writing about me.
"I was thinking not only I don't want to box anymore - I don't even want to live anymore. It sucks. It's not worth it.
"I would go into a gas station and see guys looking at me. They wouldn't say anything to my face but as they sped away they would scream through the window that I didn't win the fight and I should give the belt back.
"One or two tried to provoke me but I wasn't going to risk a lawsuit by giving any of them a slap."
Bradley is in determined mood ahead of Saturday's rematch.
"I want to prove to everyone that I can beat Manny," he added. "Even though I think I won the first fight.
"What did I do wrong the first time? I came to the ring fully prepared. I did my job properly. It was a close fight which could have gone either way.
"Whatever the judges decided, it wasn't my fault. Why blame me? That's what I was getting from the world."
Bradley credited wife and manager Monica for pulling him out of the depression.
"It has been a terrible controversy, a storm we had to survive," he said. "My wife is great, just terrific, so intelligent. She has helped me back and protected my back. Who better to look after me?
"We had to get away. Not only that but I stopped reading anything... except the bible which came in very handy. I realised what was important in my life. I set my mind to ignoring criticism. It doesn't offend me anymore and when I was able to laugh about it I came back to the ring."