IBR on The Cruelest Sport


Only seven months removed from a slugfest with Ruslan Provodnikov that left him slurring his speech for months, Tim Bradley entered the ring against Juan Manuel Marquez as something of a mystery. At his best, Bradley had the intelligence and athleticism to diffuse Marquez, but there was a chance that the actual Bradley, the one poised to face Marquez in Las Vegas last night, was only a shadow of himself. Would last night’s Bradley be able to dart safely in and out of range, or slip and roll with the punches of boxing’s foremost marksman? If not, how would this Bradley respond to the blows Marquez crashed into his skull? Bradley answered these questions and more in winning a split decision at the Thomas and Mack Center.

Read A Jury Disguised As An Audience: Timothy Bradley W12 Juan Manuel Marquez on The Cruelest Sport.


IBR on The Cruelest Sport


Boxing is a sport that adds years to lives without extending them, that both glosses over and emphasizes the fact that getting punched in the head is bad for you. Admittedly, the study of brain trauma is a new and underdeveloped field, and it is still unclear whether the majority of the cognitive deficits that are associated with blunt head blows result from the physical trauma itself, or the brain responding to this trauma. Those deficits, however, are undeniable—even obvious—in boxing. Boxing can chuck a man out of his prime like a bouncer, dumping him on the curb, where balance, coordination, cognition and speech get lost in the gathering crowd. This is what is happening when a fighter gets old before our eyes. This is the ugly side of growing old in a bloodsport—the side that counts in dog years, that places asterisks next to ages and question marks on futures.

Read FALLOUT: On Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“The outcome was as expected: Tim Bradley won a unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov last night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. But the expectation that Bradley, openly frustrated with his career, was being given a palliative in Provodnikov was quickly turned on its ear. Over the course of twelve harrowing rounds, Bradley was repeatedly pushed to the threshold of his resolve by the incorrigible Provodnikov. However much the boxing community may have considered Bradley an imposter on the throne, Provodnikov treated him like a king, and, against such distinguished opposition, looked to overthrow royalty.”

Read A Ruthless Scrutiny: Tim Bradley W12 Ruslan Provodnikov on The Cruelest Sport.