Zahir Raheem can certainly feel Timothy Bradley's pain. In September 2005 the tricky "Z-Man" comprehensively out-pointed Erik Morales to score the biggest victory of his career and he had every right to think he would be vaulted into the elite in terms of standing and purse money. Neither happened; the Pacquiao-Morales superfight Raheem supposedly scuttled was made anyway while Raheem sat on the sidelines for seven months before losing a split decision to Acelino Freitas and fading into obscurity.
As for Bradley, his victory over number-one pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao last June 9 has merited no fanfare whatsoever, mostly because the split decision in his favor was almost universally panned. The "mandated" rematch clause was never exercised -- who'd want to see that fight again? -- and thus Bradley lost out on a second huge purse. Few times in history has a career-defining win resulted in so little reward. Coming into Saturday's fight with Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley has endured a 280-day layoff -- the second longest of his career -- and that comes on the heels of a career-long 287-day hiatus.
Will "Desert Storm" be motivated enough to fight at his best Saturday or will Provodnikov score his own massive upset? If he does, he'd better hope he has better luck than Bradley had with his.