MANILA, Philippines - Undefeated Timothy Bradley is like Juan Manuel Marquez in that they’re both resilient, showing a rare ability to recover from knockdowns – a cause for concern as WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao prepares to meet the man called “Desert Storm” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on June 9.
Marquez was dropped thrice by Pacquiao in the first round but stayed on his feet until the final bell to escape with a split 12-round draw in 2004. In a rematch four years later, Marquez hit the deck once in the third round, regrouped and survived the distance only to lose a split 12-round decision to Pacquiao. Two years ago, Marquez went down from a left hook in the third round but got up to stop Michael Katsidis in the ninth. The Mexican’s recuperative powers enabled him to last 36 rounds in three fights with Pacquiao.
Bradley, who at 28 is 10 years younger than Marquez, is just as resilient. In 2009, he was floored by Kendall Holt with a left hook in the first round and took another mandatory eight-count in the 12th from a right uppercut. Despite the disadvantage of two 10-8 rounds, Bradley stood proudly in the end and scored a unanimous 12-round decision over Holt in Montreal on scores of 115-111, 115-111 and 114-112.
“In the first round, he (Holt) got me with a left hook and stung me,” recounted Bradley. “I was a little numb but I just listened to my corner, got up and said, ‘Hey, we got to get it going.’ I got up at the count of eight and was fine. My game plan was to break him down by going to the body. He keeps his hands high. I wanted to keep the pressure on him and not let him think. If you let him think, he’ll give you trouble.”
It’s Bradley’s relentless pressure that is his trademark and he’s expected to take the fight to Pacquiao when they face off. Bradley will see action in Las Vegas only for the second time in a career that started in 2004, nine years after Pacquiao’s debut. He broke off from promoter Gary Shaw last year to hook up with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum hoping to land marquee matchups.
“I’m still fighting for respect,” said Bradley, quoted by Bob Velin of USA Today. “I’m fighting for my family. I’m fighting to be the No. 1 fighter in the world, pound for pound. It’s a grimy business and I signed up for this. There’s nothing that I fear. No one that I fear. I don’t fear Pacquiao. I don’t fear (Floyd) Mayweather. It’s Timothy Bradley’s time. At this point in my career, I’m stronger than ever. You can say anything that you want about me but the one thing that you can’t say about me is that I’m not a winner.”
Bradley drew flak from boxing experts when he backed out of a fight against Amir Khan last year. “They (Golden Boy Promotions) weren’t willing to negotiate anything outside an Amir Khan fight,” said Bradley, quoted by Yahoo! Sports. “I didn’t want to be set up because Amir is more popular than I am. It’s not going to be like a close match but they give it to Khan.” Writer Lem Satterfield also quoted Bradley explaining why he dodged Khan, saying “If I was to go in there and fought Amir and let’s say that I would have beaten him, I would still be in the same boat because no one would have known whom I was. I don’t think that the fight would have been promoted right and the tickets would not have been sold like they were supposed to have been and the money would not have been spent right to promote the fight.”
With Arum, Bradley said he knows he’ll get a fair shake. Arum recently said, “We believe Bradley is the coming superstar in boxing with the opportunity to rise to the top in the sport.”
In Bradley’s Las Vegas debut on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard last November, the “Desert Storm” stopped Joel Casamayor at 2:59 of the eighth round as the Cuban’s chief second Miguel Diaz entered the ring to signal surrender. Casamayor was floored in the fifth and sixth rounds. Judges Levi Martinez, Burt Clements and Adalaide Byrd all scored a shutout, 70-60, after seven rounds.
Bradley was described by boxing writer Graham Houston as “one of the strongest-willed, most doggedly determined and tenacious fighters in the business as well as being a pocket-Hercules type physically.” The 5-6 fighter from Palm Springs, California, totes a record of 28-0 with 12 KOs and a no-contest. He is trained by former lightweight contender Joel Diaz and his father Timothy, Sr.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Bradley's resiliency a cause for concern