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The truth about Tim Bradley

bradley676By Duke Pahulu: Most casual fans know Tim Bradley from his bout against Manny Pacquiao. Leading up to the bout, casual fans were dismissive of Bradley’s worthiness in facing the cash cow of Top Rank. But boxing people have known about Tim Bradley since his 2008 upset of number two junior welter at the time Junior Witter.

Since beating Witter in his home country, Bradley put a workmanlike assault on the junior welterweight class culminating in a decision over Devon Alexander. Bradley wasn’t great at any one thing but he was good in all phases of the game with a ton of heart that was shown in full force against heavy puncher Kendall Holt.

In a fight similar to Bradley’s last outing, Bradley outworked Holt in between an early and late knockdown for a unanimous decision. Bradley doesn’t have the knockout power to put backsides in seats but his hustle and underrated boxing skills have made him a top fighter in the welterweight division. The fallout of the Pacquiao decision left Bradley on the outside looking in.

I had Pacquiao winning the fight 8 rounds to 4 but the rounds I gave Bradley were late in the fight where Pacquiao usually closes strong. I believe the backlash had a lot to do with how Bradley reacted to nod.

After the fight and before the cards were read, Bradley looked the loser of the bout. If he had stuck to his guns and stated that Manny deserve the nod, he would have had an immediate rematch. But the backlash put Bradley in the position to take on a relative unknown in Ruslan Provodnikov.

In a fight of the year candidate, Bradley took a beating early in the bout and somehow poised himself to outwork Provodnikov to put enough points in the bank to survive a crazy final frame to hold on to the title he won against Pacquiao.

Casual fans were surprised that Bradley had that in him even though we’ve seen glimpses of this type of heart from Bradley in the Holt bout. And now he has a PPV main event against Juan Manuel Marquez.

Even though this match-up doesn’t belong on pay-per-view and Top Rank has done a terrible job with the undercard, this fight should further enhance Tim Bradley’s quest for respect.

The man has earn my respect from his junior welter run alone but the Marquez bout should show the rest how much Bradley is worth. Just remember that Marquez is coming of the best win of his career.

It’s the whole reason why Top Rank put this bout on PPV. They believe the KO made Marquez a PPV A-side. Bradley will come into this fight as the underdog as usual. And as usual, Bradley will work his way to respect.

Marquez can’t just count on counter-shots to beat Bradley. He has to work harder to compete with Bradley. You can point to that as to why age is going to be a factor in this fight. But age wasn’t why Marquez knocked out Pacquiao. It was taking advantage of the others mistakes.

When Bradley is on point, he doesn’t make those big mistakes that Marquez feeds on. Marquez has turn back younger and more active fighters in Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis but that was years ago and Bradley is a better fighter than both noted. Whatever the case maybe, Bradley has a second shot at showing who he really is on the biggest stage.

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