Bradley has put on size for Provodnikov bout, says manager
By Dan Ambrose: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) defends his title against ESPN2 favorite Ruslan Provdonikov (22-1, 15 KO’s in less than two weeks on March 16th at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, USA 12. Bradley’s manager Cameron Dunkin says Bradley has put on more size and now he’s a legitimate welterweight instead of a light welterweight.
Dunkin commented to RingTV “He’s [Bradley] the biggest he’s ever been in his career right now…Tim is the strongest that he’s ever been. The biggest and the strongest that he’s ever been.”
Bradley looked to have put on a lot of muscle and size for his bout against Manny Pacquiao last year in June, but the size seemed to have dramatically slowed Bradley down in terms of hand speed, and his power was still less than impressive. If Bradley has put on more size and strength, as his manager Dunkin says he has, then it’s possible that he’ll be even slower than he was for the Pacquiao fight.
Smaller fighters that bulk up to fight in higher weight classes rarely are stronger after moving up. They’re basically a pumped up version for whatever weight class they’re moving up to. It’s not like someone that is born with the frame to fight in a given weight class. Those fighters are frequently stronger than someone that lifts weights to fight at a higher weight because adding muscle frequently doesn’t make a fighter any stronger in terms of punching power.
All it does in a lot of cases is make them slower, but at the same time giving them more weight to absorb shots and keep from getting pushed around. There is a benefit to putting on muscle weight if a fighter is moving up a weight class, but it’s not likely that they’re gaining any real power from it.
Bradley didn’t show much power against Pacquiao, and it’s likely that he’ll only be slower for the Provodnikov bout. That doesn’t mean he isn’t going to win the fight because it’s clear that he’s much better than light welterweight Provodnikov. We’re talking about fighters from different classes in terms of talent.
Bradley is just a much better fighter than Provodnikov, and it won’t matter how much slower Bradley is now that he put on weight. He’ll still win easily because they picked out a guy that they knew he could beat with ease. It’s not as if they picked out a quality welterweight for Bradley to fight. If they were to do that then Bradley would be in danger of his title because he’s not that impressive as a welterweight now that he’s moved up in weight.