CARSON, Calif. — Timothy Bradley’s return to the ring almost ended early and without any controversy that accompanied his upset victory over Manny Pacquiao last June.
Bradley had his hands full with Ruslan Provodnikov from the opening bell. He was on the canvas in the first round, although referee Pat Russell ruled it from a slip and Provodnikov tried to end the night in the second round.
Later, in the 12th, sensing he needed a knockout, Provodnikov finally got Bradley to the canvas with less than 30 seconds left. Bradley beat Russell’s count and made it to the end of the fight.
In the end, Bradley (30-0) survived the night to retain his WBO welterweight title with a hard-fought unanimous-decision victory.