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Will Tim Bradley be the same fighter after the beating he took?

Timothy BradleyBy Dan Ambrose: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) is still in possession of his World Boxing Organization 147 lb. title after beating the #3 WBO Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KO’s) by a grueling 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night, but there’s a possibility that Bradley won’t be the same fighter after the beating he took in that fight.

Bradley was badly hurt in the 1st round, and he continued to get hurt in the 2nd, 6th and 12th rounds of the fight. In his own words, Bradley said “I think I have a concussion” after the fight. The way that he was giggling and acting kind of punch drunk from the punishment he had absorbed, you have to suspect he was correct.

Now Bradley wasn’t knocked out in the fight like Manny Pacquiao was in his 6th round knockout defeat by Juan Manuel Marquez, but a fighter doesn’t need to be knocked unconscious for them not to be the same after a beating. Simply being concussed is often enough for that fighter to not be the guy that he was.

Bradley’s ability to take head shots could have been compromised by the beating he took from Provodnikov, and we won’t see the effects until Bradley steps inside the ring later on this year to face someone like Brandon Rios, Marquez or Manny Pacquiao. One of those three fighters will be facing Bradley next because he’s probably not going to volunteer to face his WBO mandatory challenger Keith Thurman unless he’s dragged into the ring kicking and screaming by the WBO.

Thurman isn’t going to get that fight. But Bradley is going to have his hands full with Rios, Marquez or Pacquiao. All of those guys can punch, and if Bradley isn’t the same fighter after the beating he took from Provodnikov, you can guarantee he’ll get knocked out next time he fights.

Bradley was lucky this time the fight wasn’t stopped in the 2nd round when he was flying around the ring hitting ropes and not having the referee call knockdowns that should have been called. But in his next fight, it won’t matter.

I can see Bradley get hurt almost immediately by one of those guys and quickly finished off in a neat process without any of the mess from the Provodnikov fight.

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