HOLLYWOOD – One thing Timothy Bradley learned in his first meeting with Manny Pacquiao was the fact that he ain’t Mike Tyson.
An acknowledged fan of the youngest heavyweight champion ever, Bradley did a Tyson act by not wearing socks during his June 2012 title showdown with the former world’s best fighter pound-for-pound.
The stunt almost denied him a winas it resulted in two injured feet.
By the end of the fight, which the 30-year-old Bradley won in highly-controversial manner, the new World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion was diagnosed with a pulled ligament at the bottom of his foot, and a severe sprain on his right ankle, explaining why he was in a wheelchair when he attended the post-fight press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) said lessons were learned and vowed never to do it again especially when he climbs the ring on Sunday (Manila time) to stake his 147-lb. title against the Filipino boxing superstar.
“You live and learn, and I’ve learned my lesson,” admitted the American from Palm Springs, California. “I will be wearing socks for this fight.”
Bradley admitted he refused to wear socks on the night of the fight after reading a book on Tyson, who’s best known for wearing black shorts and black shoes with no socks when he was still active as the so-called `Baddest Man on the Planet.’
“I’d been reading Mike Tyson books. I’m a boxing fan and I read that Mike Tyson doesn’t wear socks,” he said. “I thought of trying it and inspiring myself.”
Initially, he felt good about it especially during training camp, saying he felt natural feeling the canvas, allowing him to move a little bit better, and made his toes feel pretty loose.
But such thing didn’t happen during the fight itself.
“The ring was bouncy. I’m like in the WWE ring. It was bouncy I felt like there was spring on it. It was terrible,” Bradley recalled.
By the second round, the American felt something pop at the top of his foot, which he suspected could have been a broken bone.
By the time the fourth round round ended, Bradley returned to his corner with an injured ankle.
Bradley took the match one round at a time from then on, and fortunately enough, survived Pacquiao and pulled off one of boxing’s biggest surprises of all time.
The two-time world champion, who will arrive in Las Vegas on Tuesday, vowed not to do it again and is convinced it will make a lot of difference in his rematch against the 35-year-old Filipino.
“Oh yeah, it will be different (this time).”