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Bradley risked health to win fans, get Marquez

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POSTED October 10, 2013 10:50 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Timothy Bradley remembers the first and final rounds of his last bout. The rest has vanished into a foggy haze.

The welterweight champion candidly acknowledges his brain took a beating in his victory over Ruslan Provodnikov last March. Determined to prove his ring bravery to a doubting public, Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) consciously abandoned years of technical discipline and waded into a fistfight with the Siberian brawler.

“I wanted to prove to people that I was the true champion,” Bradley said this week. “I was going to prove it to everybody just by trying to knock out Ruslan. I was trying to show a different side of me.”

He paid for it with a swollen skull, ugly injuries and two months of pain and slurred speech. Yet it’s a transaction he would make again.

“I still want the fans to be happy,” Bradley said. “I’m a four-time world champion, and I’m trying to build a fan base. That’s tough. I’m trying to make the real big money. I think about all of this. ... I almost died in that fight, but I loved the attention after it.”



First openly gay boxer fights for world title

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Orlando Cruz won the fight of his life when he came out last year as the first openly gay fighter in boxing.

Now he’s in a fight of another kind, a championship battle Saturday night that is the biggest bout of his professional career.

“It’s my dream and it’s my time,” Cruz said. “I’ve been waiting a long time to fight for the championship and I plan to make history.”

Cruz takes on fellow veteran Orlando Salido in a fight for a piece of the featherweight title on the undercard of Timothy Bradley’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. He’ll do it wearing rainbow colors on his boxing trunks, his way of showing support for others in the gay and lesbian community.

“This is for all of them,” Cruz said. “But this is for me, too. It’s a beautiful opportunity for me, and it’s my moment.”

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