Timothy Bradley Jnr believes that father-son partnerships in boxing should come to an end.
The 39-year-old competed between 2004 and 2016, winning world championships across two weight classes. He claimed the WBC light welterweight title in 2008, light welterweight in 2009 and the WBO welterweight in 2012.
He saw a lot during his time within the sport, but has recently found frustration in the way it’s run, taking aim at the number of father-son partnerships and their potential to damage the family bond.
There are plenty of fathers who work with their sons in boxing. The likes of Jaron Ennis, Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko have all had their fathers act as head trainers, and historically fighters including Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather have brought their fathers into the fold as well.
Often, the set-up ends in failure, and while Bradley believes there’s nothing wrong with fathers being involved in their son’s careers to some extent, it can be problematic when they act as head trainers.
Why does Bradley think father-son partnerships should be banned?
“It just needs to be banned,” Bradley told The 3 Knockdown Rule in an interview. “I think boxing needs to ban father-son [set-ups].
“Your father cannot be your trainer. Your father, he can be in your corner, whatever, but he cannot be your trainer. I think it should be banned, honestly, man. The relationship between a father and son is horrible.”
Going into more detail, Bradley explained why he finds the father-son scenario so damaging, saying that father/trainers can often lack knowledge of when to call a fight and that the financials can get thorny.
“When they get into these tough matches, you see these fathers not stepping in and stopping fights, letting the fights go on too late,” he continued. “And then you know, financially, I mean. I don’t even want to go down that road.”
Bradley’s proud record
Bradley won 33 of the 37 fights he was involved with across his career: 13 by knockout, 20 by decision. He drew one and lost two, both to Manny Pacquiao: in April 2014 and April 2016.
He retired after the second bout, but it had been coming for a little while. In his announcement, he revealed that he struggled to recover following a 2013 fight with Ruslan Provodnikov, saying that the clash affected him neurologically and that he was slurring his speech for a couple of months after the clash.
He left the sport with his head held high and remains a popular, highly-regarded figure. Later in 2023, he’ll be inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame alongside Carl Froch and Rafael Marquez. Calling the announcement one of the greatest days of his life, Bradley described the honor as a “dream come true – this is my heaven.”
The Hall of Fame was set up in 1990 with Muhammad Ali, Henry Armstrong, Joe Frazier and Jake LaMotta among the first inductees.
New fighters are added each year, with James Toney, Roy Jones Jnr and Miguel Cotto being 2022’s inductees and Andre Ward, Wladimir Klitschko and Floyd Mayweather representing 2021’s roster.