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Crawford: Tim Bradley beats Canelo

bradley000By Dan Ambrose: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley’s 9th round knockout win over a bloated and out of shape 170lb Brandon Rios (33-3-1, 24 KOs) last Saturday night has convinced WBO 140lb champion Terence Crawford that Bradley would beat former WBA/WBC 154lb champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez if he winds up as his next opponent he faces in 2016.

Bradley’s promoter Bob Arum has already mentioned that the 25-year-old Canelo is a possibility for Bradley if Canelo defeats WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) in their fight on November 21st this month in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Arum has spoken to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya and he’s interested in matching Canelo against Bradley rather than WBC mandatory challenger Gennady Golovkin next. Bradley rehydrated to 155lbs last Saturday night in beating Rios in a fight televised on HBO Championship Boxing.

For Bradley to get a fight against Canelo, he would likely need to agree to a catch-weight of 155lbs, which is the special weight that Canelo has been fighting at lately since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. two years ago in 2013.

“I think Bradley would be competitive in anybody’s fight, fighting anyone because that’s just the person he is,” Crawford said to Dontae’s Boxing Nation. “When you doubt him, he rises to the occasion.”

When asked who would win between Bradley and Canelo, Crawford said “I don’t know. It would be a hard pick, but I’m picking Bradley.”

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Canelo rehydrates to as high as 175lbs for his catch-weight fights at 155, which means that Bradley would likely be giving up 20 pounds in weight under the most extreme circumstances. Bradley might be able to bloat up to 180 or something, but I don’t think that would be in his best interest. He seems to be slow on his feet at 155, and I think it would be a bad thing for him to go over that weight against a tank-like fighter like Canelo.

I’m not sure that a Canelo vs. Bradley fight would be competitive like Crawford thinks it would be. At 5’6”, Bradley doesn’t have the size or the mobility to do the things against Canelo that Mayweather and Erislandy Lara did. Those are both taller fighters with longer reach than Bradley, and I don’t think he could out-box Canelo in the same way.

Bradley’s new trainer Teddy Atlas had him moving, holding, jabbing and throwing body shots against the out of shape Rios last Saturday night. I don’t think Bradley’s mobility and jab would be good enough for him to be competitive against a guy with heave hands and the huge size that Canelo has. I think this fight would be like Bradley facing a bigger version of Ruslan Provodnikov. I don’t even think Bradley would be competitive at all in a fight against Canelo.

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Canelo would come off looking really bad in the eyes of the boxing public if he agrees to fight a tiny fighter like Bradley rather than Golovkin. The Bradley fight only makes sense for Canelo if he loses to Cotto on November 21st. If that happens, then I don’t think the boxing public will care at all what Canelo does, because his career will be down the drain. But if he beats Cotto, and then vacates his WBC middleweight title or has it stripped from him by the WBC for failing to fight Golovkin, then it’ll make Canelo look like he’s afraid of Golovkin.

It’s hard to get excited about a fighter like Canelo, who sees himself as a warrior, if he’s not following the warrior like path by taking on Golovkin and instead is fighting tiny little fighters like Bradley, who is two divisions smaller than him. Bradley is really little more than a pumped up 140lb fighter. In dealing with the 175lb Canelo, it would be a joke of a fight and it would make Canelo look bad in accepting it in the first place.

I don’t think Canelo’s promoter De La Hoya wants him to take on the dangerous guys like Golovkin, because another loss for Canelo would be a huge blow to his career. A lot of boxing fans were less than impressed with Canelo’s ’performances against Lara, Austin Trout and Mayweather. If De La Hoya’s golden goose gets plucked clean by Golovkin, then it’ll make it hard to sell Canelo’s fights on HBO PPV. How do you sell Canelo’s fights if he loses every time he faces a good opponent?

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