Separating Márquez and Bradley
By Kieran Stapleton: It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen. Muhammad Ali. This weekend see’s the latest installment of HBO’s reality TV series 24/7 featuring Juan Manual Márquez and Timothy Bradley.
No doubt the two episodes will heavily focus on the intense training camps of both fighters and also each fighter’s recent victory over boxing’s cash cow Manny Pacquiao.
Many boxing commentators predict a close fight but almost all agree it will be a great one. On the surface it is difficult to separate the two. It could be argued that Bradley has his youth, better footwork, stamina, fast hands, and ability to throw combination punches with pace, but these qualities are equally mirrored by Márquez’s experience, timing, reserve and various angle punching, accurate hands, and ability to adjust to his opponents game plan.
The two styles of each fighter is why the boxing world is so excited about this fight and is also why experts and commentators are finding it hard to separate the potential winner.
Many factors determine how a fight is one or lost but this article will briefly focus on the mental strength and energy of the mind from both fighters. This is an example where the 80/20 rule applies where people often judge a fighter from 80% of what they see and 20% from what they cannot. However, many would adopt the same rule but in the reverse. This is what separates the champions from the mass. That mental framework drilled from within in order to succeed. The ability to get up and fight after being knocked down. Coaching, mental rehearsal, success imagery, goal setting. NLP, team support etc are just a few positive methods we can’t measure or see on these reality TV shows.
To give you an example we have seen Márquez drink his own urine in preparation for his fights as he believes it gives him strength. Bradley believes if he is vegan and not eat meat during training it too gives him additional strength over his opponent. This may not have a huge impact on their physical strength, however it definitely has on the mental strength and framework of each fighter. The most popular example is Mayweather training at night while his opponent is sleeping. This is a mental belief that separates the strong from the weak. That each man is going the extra mile to win.
To keep it brief, we have to see what’s on the table for both fighters. Márquez can become WBO champion, beat the guy who Pacquiao didn’t beat, but most importantly, Marquez will become the first ever Mexican to win major world titles in five different weight classes. For Bradley, He remains WBO champion, continues his boxing legacy, but most importantly, Bradley will beat the guy who unquestionably beat Pacquiao who he never gained credibility from the boxing world.
This is the true force that will determine the result of this boxing match. Of course skills and ability play a major part here but it is in this commentator’s opinion that these factors won’t determine the outcome of the fight. In this particular fight, it just comes down to who wants it more and who can mentally back it up.