Timothy Bradley, right, takes a punch to the face from Manny Pacquiao during their April 2016 bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas/Photo by Gene Blevins
Former two-division world champion Timothy Bradley over the weekend put out a statement regarding his retirement from the ring. His heartfelt words were a reflection of the class with which he graced the sweet science during a 12-year professional career.
“There always comes a point in life where we have to make choices that no matter how much we know the right option, it still leaves us filled with mixed emotions,” he wrote Saturday. “I have spent the past couple days trying to find the right words to describe this point in my life and no matter how long I sit and reflect, I still don’t know if these words can do my thoughts justice. But I’m going to do my best to open up my heart and share with all of you during this pivotal time.”
Bradley wrote about how, yes, along with being a pro athlete comes fame and fortune. But, he said, it also comes with “fear and fatigue, a balance that has to be achieved by ambition and maintained through perspective.”
“Boxing gave me purpose and it defined me,” Bradley wrote. “Dedicated to my craft and fueled by my passion for the sport, my love for my team and my admiration for all of you who supported me day in and day out – I was able to give 100 percent of myself to be the best and to always get up when I was knocked down. It was the biggest challenge in my life, but I embraced the sacrifice with every victory and milestone reached. Boxing gave me roots, it kept me off the streets, it gave me confidence, it taught me how to be a man and face every challenge head on and take the good with the bad.
“Yes I missed holidays, birthdays, even missed hearing some of my children’s first words. But more than time, it took my blood, sweat and tears, all things I can never get back. Which is why turning the page for me is bittersweet. That once in a lifetime purpose to wake up everyday and give 100% is now fueled towards something else- my family. I find my strength in them, my peace and most importantly, unconditional love. I wake up wanting to spend all my time being a father, being a husband and being free.”
Bradley went on, eventually giving a big thanks to those who cheered him on during a career that saw him win titles in the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions.
“And to you, the die hard fans, man, it’s been one heck of a ride,” Bradley wrote. “The bumps, the bruises, the peaks, the valleys, the days I didn’t want to get out of bed and the nights I couldn’t sleep. So many occasions where my heart, mind and soul were tested, but with every challenge there was hope and there was all of you, giving me the courage to fight another day and do what I loved to do.”
Bradley last fought in April 2016, when he lost a wide decision to Manny Pacquiao in their rubber match at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley, who will be 34 on Aug. 29, finished 33-2-1 with 13 knockouts.