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Bradley lucky to get win over Provodnikov

Timothy BradleyBy Eric Thomas: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) should be on his knees thanking referee Pat Russell tonight after Bradley defeated Russian challenger Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KO’s) by a close 12 round unanimous decision in Carson, California.

The reason why Bradley should be thanking the referee is because Russell blew it by failing to call a knockdown in the 1st round where Bradley hit the decision after getting hurt.

Then in the 2nd and the 6th rounds, a badly hurt Bradley was held up by the ropes after getting tagged by Provodnikov. In both cases you can make a pretty argument that Provodnikov should have received credit for knockdowns in both of those rounds because the ropes clearly help Bradley up. Provodnikov did knock Bradley down in the 12th round and got credit for it, but there should have been an additional three other knockdowns called.

The final judges’ scores were 114-113, 114-113 and 115-113. So even if Russell had only given Provodnikov credit for the 1st round knockdown, which he ruled a slip, it would have made the fight a draw.

What’s especially sad this is it’s not like Provodnikov will be given a second chance against Bradley to clear up the controversy. Bradley is going to be moving on and facing someone like Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez or Brandon Rios next.

Bradley’s promoter isn’t going to put him back in with Provodnikov because this was supposed to have been an easy fight for Bradley because that’s why they picked out a light welterweight in Provodnikov for him to fight instead of a dangerous welterweight like #1 WBO Keith Thurman. Provodnikov won’t be getting a second chance at Bradley, and he’s just going to have to be content with the fact that he could have won or at least gotten a draw had the referee given him credit for knockdowns in the 1st, 2nd and 6th rounds.

You hate to see a fight decided on a blown call like this one, but that’s the way it seems. Bradley should have been ruled down in the 1st. It’s too Provodnikov won’t be getting a second chance against him because a rematch would be interesting.

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