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Timothy Bradley Sings Khans Praises; Calls Him a “True Champion” & The Role of Theatrics in Boxing

By Nabil Anwer: In a refreshing move, Timothy Bradley(26-0, 11KOs) has signaled the respect he has for fellow fighter Amir Khan(24-1, 17Kos). Bradley was especially impressed with Khan’s performance in his last fight. “ Khan was outstanding against Maidana, he showed a lot of guts and will in that fight, and fought like a true champion. I told him so after the fight,” said Bradley.

In a sport dominated with hyperbolic rhetoric that approaches the theatrics of professional wrestling, it’s especially refreshing when a boxer shares the genuine respect he has for a rival boxer. Many other boxers simply would never admit a rival impressed them. It is for this reason Bradley’s attitude has earned him respect. The theatrics that are involved in boxing have become predictable, clichéd, and simply perfunctory. It’s interesting to note, that the man who introduced theatrics to boxing(possibly sports), Muhammad Ali, drew his inspiration from the WWF, professional wrestling league. Of course, the word ‘professional’ is liberally used in this case since as we know the wrestling is merely a backdrop to the melodramatics. Ali witnessed Gorgeous George, an absurdly over the top villain, and consequently modeled much of his act, especially in the early stages, after the campy wrestler.

But Ali understood it was all for show, and therefore approached it in a delightfully humorous manner. At the time people simply did not understand what Muhammad Ali was doing. It was suggested and believed that he was literally unhinged mentally. Of course, this persona he put on for show took on a life of its own, and its influence cannot be denied. It’s too bad this legacy has devolved into a repetitive and childish game of chest thumping, where virtually every press conference predictably erupts into a clumsy chaos of kicks and curses.

Although, Bradley may have briefly broken from this slavish routine to show his respect for Khan, this certainly won’t deter his own self confidence. “Khan’s a great fighter but I didn’t see anything to worry me. Stlyes make fights and I feel like I’ve got a good style to beat him,” said Bradley. And he may very well be right, as it would be the first time Khan is facing someone whose defences are as good, if not better than his. Although, let’s not write off Alexander just yet. The one aspect he beats Bradley on is power, and this may be his saving grace.

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