Tag Archives: Bradley

Juan Manuel Marquez & Timothy Bradley Fight For Respect

Coming up fast under the wire like a nuclear studded stealth fighter comes the Timothy Bradley/Juan Manuel Marquez confrontation Saturday, October 12th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Hard to know how this bout is going to shake out because of the polar opposite styles and attributes of the two longtime P4P fighters. Prior to each fighting Manny Pacquiao, I would have favored the unrelentingly awkward frenzy of the quicksilver Bradley over the traditional, upright, stationary countering style of Marquez.

The boxing landscape has since rumbled massively on the Richter scale, swallowing up the Manny Pacquiao phenomenon of the last two decades that left him twisting cruelly in the forever hot winds of his critics. Nor have the two fighters responsible for that tectonic shift been able to escape venomous strikes against them. Timothy Bradley may have won the judges’ hearts in a split decision win over Pacquiao, but he lost a lifetime of respect built up over his considerable career thus far because nobody but his family thinks he came close to winning that fight.

Billions upon Billions...

Billions upon Billions…

Who to thank in Vegas for yet another rinse and repeat “rubber stamped” hack job? Insert Carl Sagan intoning “billions upon billions” of hack jobs littering the great boxing galaxy in perpetuity it would seem.

Speaking of Vegas, their favorite fighter not named Floyd Mayweather Jr just happens to be Juan Manuel Marquez. He may have finally scored a highlight knockout for the ages over his long time nemesis, but all was for naught on the respectometer due to the sordid reputation of his BALCO associated physical trainer Angel “Memo” Heredia who transformed Marquez’s modest physical frame into Hulk Jr. This ain’t your tubby, pissoir tonic guzzling Juan Manuel Marquez of the Floyd Mayweather Jr fight anymore, that’s for certain.

As to physical frames, Timothy Bradley is right out of a Superman comic book, clearly engaged in a lifetime of body building that he apparently pares down with a vegan diet during training camp if what I have read is correct. He loves to flex and pose, so it will be interesting to see the weigh in contrast between what used to be the modestly composed Marquez who used to let his fists do his talking in the ring.

Hulk Jr vs Superman Jr?

Hulk Jr vs Superman Jr?

Bradley was coaxed into a comeback of sorts after his one year rest period to recover from serious ankle injuries sustained in the Pacquiao bout. The deranged death threats against him and his family along with the failure of the boxing community to rally round his huge “upset” put a rust on his insecure form against Ruslan Provodnikov, a brutal bout Bradley spent much time out on his feet as he staggered around looking for a place to fall. We’ll see soon enough if he’s recover full use of his ankles and chin since this new form of Marquez punches harder than ever.

Marquez found out the hard way that hiring BALCO associated trainers won him no new fans either. This fight was cobbled together after a last ditch compromise that sees Bradley being tested by the illicit VADA drug testing cartel while Marquez is drug tested by some fly by night illicit drug testing cartel because of longtime down and dirty disputes between Victor Conte and Memo Heredia who claim to be cleaning up boxing with their magic elixirs. Yeah, and I’ve got some lovely ocean frontage in Afghanistan for sale too, just send me your bank account numbers for a steal….errr….the deal of the century!

It also goes without saying that neither of these guys can carry a PPV on their own, so it will be interesting how those numbers pan out. Both could’ve earned much more against Pacquiao, but their egos insisted on parity if not the lions share of that purse, so this fight is also when their high flying rockets make a hard return to the boxing business world they live in.

Bradley could get careless and pop like a burnt out light bulb, or he might do light saber pirouettes around the bulked out form of Marquez. Don’t know who the favorite will be since Marquez is 40 years old to Bradley’s 30, but like I say, Vegas loves Marquez, thus he can be seen as both the money and the home town fighter for this bout and likely the modest betting favorite.

Be a nice change of pace to see an exciting, well contested, well officiated, and well scored fight to make up for the last couple of big duds this year. Marketing grossly exceeded the quality of the officiating and fighting of the year’s big “events.” Mayweather vs Alvarez and Klitschko vs Povetkin were anticlimactic compared to the hype of their big money promotions, so maybe next year boxing can get quality back into big events…..always a next year.

Timothy Bradley Returns Against Freddie Roach & Ruslan Provodnikov

Timothy Bradley is getting his desired rematch of sorts, the rematch against Manny Pacquiao trainer, Freddie Roach, who will be administering the corner of his charge, the  mauling Siberian bear, Ruslan Provodnikov. The anticipated fire fight will take place Saturday, March 16th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

Mr. Desert Storm

Bradley has regrettably been missing in action since his mega dustup last June at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against Manny Pacquiao that created as much radioactive fall out as the Chernobyl Nuclear accident near 30 years previous. The ever game challenger to Pacquiao’s WBO title put in a gritty effort to hang on for the split decision in perhaps the most hotly disputed, high profile boxing result of the 3rd millennium.

He managed to finish the grueling, high paced bout on his feet before requiring immediate convalescence in a wheelchair with serious injuries to both his ankles and feet requiring rest and therapy, torned tendons and fractured bones being mentioned, but never verified.  I never got the final updated injury report, but Bradley needed and took substantial time away from boxing to sort out his health and future career options.

The Timothy Bradley name instantaneously became infamous in spite of being a fine Ring ranked P4P fighter long under appreciated by the larger boxing public. He was savaged on antisocial internet and boxing websites as if he had made the final decision of the judges, even reporting death threats by email and snail mail, a real stain on boxing fans if true.

His promoter, Bob Arum, called for an investigation into the bout which, ahem…..drum roll….revealed nothing. The WBO honchos reviewed the fight with a panel of judges and awarded the decision to Manny Pacquiao which, ahem…..drum roll….meant nothing.  

The highly radioactive Bradley rested on his laurel of thorns as Top Rank scrambled to find him another fight in advance of the anticipated rematch with Pacquiao. Nothing doing, Bradley wouldn’t budge. The opponents and the money just didn’t tick all the right boxes for him, so he waited, and waited, and waited some more. As Pfc Gomer Pyle was want to remind Sgt Carter, “Surprise, surprise,” and now Bradley’s a week away from his return against the aggressive punching, always swarming Ruslan Provodnikov. Both have been fighting in the 140 – 150 lb range for their careers. Both are at near identical 5-6 short stuff statures and 29 years of age, but they’ll be easy to tell apart in the ring, trust me.

Ruslan Provodkinov

The relatively unknown Provodnikov is Ring ranked in Bradley’s old junior welter division at #10, but lacks Bradley’s championship experience against top contenders. That along with being slower on the draw and a somewhat plodding face forward style makes him imminently beatable by Bradley on paper. The paper doesn’t record that Bradley pretty much ran out of steam in his intense bout against Pacquiao last year, meaning a high intensity pressure fighter in excellent condition could exploit that weakness late in the fight, especially if Bradley no longer has best use of his legs which have always been a key principle in his herky, jerky, jumping around style that has thus far kept him unbeaten.

The intangibles in this bout are intriguing enough. Freddie Roach has been baiting Bradley with some classics, ie; “When he feels Ruslan’s power, like when he felt Manny’s, it’s going to be a remake of Forrest Gump. ‘Run, Timmy, run!’ This isn’t about Ruslan finishing what Manny started. It’s about duplicating  it.” Roach has been working with Provodnikov long enough to add some wrinkles for this bout, so clearly the Siberian is hungry enough to pull an upset since Roach doesn’t work with slackers. He’s been Pacquiao’s lead sparring partner for two camps now.

Speaking of hungry, Bradley says he goes vegan during his training camp to pare down his unusually cut, overdeveloped physique. His legs look like pipe cleaners compared to his bulging torso, perhaps a clue to his recent ankle injuries.

Bigger than advertised!

Bigger than advertised!

Bradley has said he wants to make a statement with a knockout of the very durable Siberian who has only lost one bout, and that by decision. Since Bradley has stepped up to championship level boxing in his last 9 fights, he’s only had a single knockout and that over the 40 year old Joel Casamayer.

We could have some fun here and note that Bradley looks like Tarzan and punches like Jane, but truth is he does have some hurtful enough pop to knock fighters down and change their fight strategy, so we’ll just have to see about all that.

The P4P Battle–Manny Pacquiao vs Timothy Bradley

Long time Ring P4P King, Manny Pacquiao, goes up against one of the latest Ring P4P Princes, Timothy Bradley, in what promises to be one of the most dynamic all action fights of the year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 9th.

Or it could end on an ugly leaping headbutt, but regardless, Pac Man meets a serious physical challenge in the awkwardly hard charging fellow shortstuff Desert Storm Bradley who never met an angle he couldn’t punch from or used a muscle that wasn’t fully flexed out. Although the sculpted Bradley amazingly may be down on the power charts, he provides the kind of action that could be fought from pillar to post for as long as the fight lasts.

Fight!

Fight!

Bradley is always in tremendous condition, boxing’s nonstop Energizer Bunny in the ring, but if recent form holds of Pacquiao opponents whipping themselves into best ever career conditions, Pacquiao may have trouble picking his spots like he was able to do against the laid back defensive counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight. He just might be forced into his old school Pacman slugging frenzy, not  bad thing for fight fans as Ricky Hatton found out.

Speaking of the Marquez rubber match, the worm may have turned on the phenomenon of Manny Pacquiao’s unparalleled career. The Congressman/Boxer was heavily booed in his decision win over the popular Vegas fighter, a highly technical bout that resembled two feuding Spanish matadors taking turns at lightning rapier thrusts of their estocadas for the finishing strike.

Pacquiao came up as an all action slugger in the mold of a Jack Dempsey, but is now picking his shots like the master boxer he’s become under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. He’s become so defensively adept that he made the counter punching Marquez whiff amazingly wide on many occasions, but all apparently for naught with Vegas crowd. Bradley is not nearly so popular, but if he succeeds in taking the fight to Pacquiao and having some success, well, who can say how an fickle boxing crowd is really going to react until the moment arrives?

The Congressman/Boxer is also being investigated by the Philippine government  for alleged improprieties in one of his charitable organizations. It’s no surprise that big guns are after Pacquiao now since his stated ambition is to run for the presidency in the next election, so he may be in need of an overhaul of his “staff” of faithful followers if he is to ever achieve that ambition. Also, he may or may not have been served his divorce papers on the eve of the Marquez fight, depending on the source.

OUCH!

Pacquiao may be a grizzled ring veteran of 33 years of age now, yet he is as distracted now as he was in the first Morales fight 7 years ago where he was undergoing highly disputed managerial and promotional scrums over his services that left him exposed in the ring without his beloved Reyes’ puncher’s gloves.

The extracurricular distractions have slowly extracted their toll, so the time could be ripe for a prime young gunslinger who’s never been beat and hungry for recognition to show up at the right place at the right time for the huge upset if he can stay upright. Otherwise it’s gonna be a painful night if Bradley gets behind on the scoring because of knockdowns, something Marquez can attest to.

Bradley does have some problems with his balance, his helter skelter attacks leaving him ripe for sharp counters, so I’d imagine that would be the focus of the Roach strategy.

Noteworthy news is that the Boxrec P4P ratings formula has moved Mayweather up after the win over Miguel Cotto, finally edging Pacquiao to become their new #1. Ring’s more personalized opinion is to demote Pacquiao into a tie with #2 Floyd Mayweather and leave #1 newly vacated,  rather akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater by alleged boxing experts. They simply haven’t compared their actual Ring P4P records, 4-0, 2 KO for Mayweather to 7-1-1 for Pacquiao with more KOs, 5, than Mayweather has P4P fights. Moreover, Pacquiao has twice moved to a new division to face the top Ring fighter in his inaugural fight at the weight, something Mayweather has never done during his rise through the divisions.

I can’t be bothered, but I’d imagine the Boxrec historical p4P data would pretty much parallel the Ring P4P data, ie both Ring and Boxrec curently having Bradley ranked #9 P4P.

Impressively, Bradley will be Pacquiao’s 10th career Ring P4P bout, a new record with every P4P fighter he meets now.

Since most every fan agrees to disagree with the “experts” anyway no matter the order of the fighters attached to #1 through 10, it’s all a bunch of hooey for show and bragging rights in the end. The true tragedy is that the explosive primacy for Pacquiao vs Mayweather has gone the fizzle route. If by a strike of drizzling lightning they do happen to meet next year, Manny will be 34 years old and many years into his Congressional duties and Floyd will be 36 after completing his prison sentence and probably still on probation. 2013 is a long ways in boxing years from the March 13th, 2010 date  that Mayweather demanded and Pacquiao accepted. The terms were quickly agreed upon when the fight was at it’s hottest apex with Manny at age 31 and Floyd at age 33.

Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men gone awry yet again.

Speaking of the worm turning, Miguel Cotto may not have won the battle against Floyd Mayweather, but perhaps the war as he dished out as good as he got and undermined the invincibility of Mayweather. Then the Al Hayman managed Mayweather stablemate, Andre Berto, has been reported to have trace amounts of a steroid by VADA,  the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association  testing agency, so the repeated accusations that Floyd Mayweather slung at Pacquiao are now dangling on his doorstep making a big stink as the spokesman for “cleaning up boxing.”  Maybe he’s trying to clean out Al Hayman who has little left to promote during the interim as Mayweather prepares for his impending Nevada incarceration on June 1st.

Mayweather should at least be able to console himself with his better Cotto PPV numbers than Pacquiao is likely to show against the relatively unknown Bradley. For boxing fans who prefer fight stats, Pacquiao is currently 6-0-1, 3 KO against common opponents to Mayweather’s 5-0, 1 KO.

The less than honorable Berto trainer and ex-con Victor Conte was bragging about being such a whiz as an advisor and spokesman for VADA  after the Lamont Peterson postive test shocker, but now is jumping ship and explaining it all away.  What a can of worms and cancelled fights Golden Boy and HBO has fallen into, cancelling multimillion dollar fights on the specious trace readings in parts per trillion that very few of their bigshots or the public could pass if they tried.

Pacquiao with the big fight experience will be the betting favorite, but Bradley has been pointing to this fight for over a year, beating southpaws Devon Alexander and Joel Casamayor consecutively. Bradley first made his chops by flying overseas to England to dethrone southpaw favorite Junior Witter in his best ever showing. He’s an aggressive swaming type whose style is reminiscent of HOFer Aaron Pryor even if lacking Pryor’s firepower.

He did knock out the elderly Casamayor after scoring some knockdowns, but his fight with Alexander ended with a butt that went to the cards for a technical decision. Bradley tends to lead with his head, so in a lefty/righty fight, butts seem a certainty and may leave both seeing stars.

Lets’ also be clear about their weights since Pacquiao has had a series of controversial catchweight fights. Bradley turned pro at 143 lbs a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday and has since mostly fought at the junior welter limit, but sometimes straying well over in nontitle fights. Pacquiao has been in the 142-146 range for his 7 welter fights, so Bradley is the natural lifetime welter and as far as I know the fight is at the full welter limit of 147lbs. If promotional comments hold a kernel of truth, Bradley considers Pacquiao to be weaker than him who can be easily counterpunched, so he expects to bully Pacquiao around the ring while sharpshooting him.

I see an up and down type of fight with a series of adjustments until the magic formula is found for the win. Could be a Bradley upset, or another Pacquiao beatdown, or anything between, but guaranteed  by styles to be quickly paced action with some interesting technical twists. Bradley is a harder nut to crack compared to most any fighter in the world right now and knows he could make a splash into the Big Buck$ pool, but only IF he defeats Pacquiao cleanly with some style.

Then again, Pacquiao probably feels his future election to the Philippine presidency hinges on every win, so who could beat that kind of motivation?

Fight!