TIMOTHY BRADLEY: STILL ON THE FENCE
I will readily admit that I’m still on the fence about Timothy Bradley. Like many others, I had Manny Pacquiao winning their first fight. I’m picking Pacquiao to beat him in their rematch. Fellow colleagues (including the staff here at the voice) – are picking Bradley. I understand the winds of change. Briefly, I want to look at his recent fights a little closer.
Bradley against Ruslan Provodnikov was all action. Provodnikov at the time had already taken a defeat to Mauricio Herrera. Losses are not supposed to mean much to hardcore boxing fans, but this one did. Provodnikov was seen as a Friday Night Fights caliber opponent. Most thought Bradley was going to have a relatively easy night. The way this fight unfolded, nobody could have predicted. Provodnikov took Bradley to hell and back.
Some will say that Bradley – the better pure boxer, had something to prove after the Pacquiao controversy. My problem with this is if you’re going to call Bradley an elite P4P guy, doesn’t ring intelligence come into play? I can’t imagine Floyd Mayweather or Andre Ward getting into this type of fight. And some are putting Bradley right there with them. I don’t mean to say that Bradley isn’t a smart fighter. His emotions at some point though, can get the best of him. So much the better for the fans, but at the detriment of his health.
Styles make fights. It’s an overused cliché. Many times it’s true. Juan Manuel Marquez and his counterpunching style turned out to be stylistically good for Bradley. While I thought Bradley won the fight, something just seemed a tad unsatisfying about it. Too many Bradley fights are like that. But he just wins…
Basically, I think he needs to beat Pacquiao convincingly. I’ll be the first one to get off the fence and give him his proper due.