Saturday night's HBO-televised Timothy Bradley vs. Ruslan Provodnikov WBO Welterweight title fight turned into something much more than most fans expected. It became a memorable, back-and-forth brawl between two guys with tons of heart and absolutely zero give. Bradley ended up retaining his championship and his undefeated record with a decision win, and while he deserved the nod, the victory didn't come without its price.
Credit: Chris Farina - Top Rank
In fact, it was Bradley who was almost stopped at several points in the fight. Provodnikov, coming up from junior welterweight, matched and even exceeded Bradley's well-known muscular physique, and easily eclipsed him in power.
He had him hurt early and often in the first two rounds of the bout, nearly scoring a quick knockout in the process. And before the final bell rang, Provodnikov again almost had Bradley stopped.
Seemingly one more punch in any of these moments could have closed the show, but that final punch never came. Eve...