Let me tell you that story.
Once upon a time,
deep, deep in the boxing jungle,
there was a little engine that could.
He was chuggin’ his way across the boxing word… he was told he was too little
Chugga, chugga, chugga. Chugga, chugga. Toot, toot!
This little engine’s mission…
was to take the top of the pound for pound rankings…
Needless to say,
there was plenty opposition. Said he didn’t have enough power.
You think that stopped the little engine that could?
No, siree, Bob. He just kept chuggin’ along.
Chugga, chugga, chugga. Chugga, chugga.
Not even when they tried to rob him in England in his fight with Witter,
the little engine that could passed throught Alexander and Peterson who were undefeated
You think that stopped the little engine that could?
Damn skippy. He just kept chuggin’ along.
Chugga, chugga, chugga. Chugga, chugga. Toot, toot!
It wasn’t until…
Charlie rigged a bridge with Pacquiao explosives…
BOOM! Blood and guts. Pacquiao knocked his ass out… The engine couldn’t feel its legs ”
It’s hard to make an argument against Timothy Bradley’s right to face the Filipino sensation this Saturday. Sure, you can make a case on how he might stink up the joint or slam his forehead against Pacquiao’s eyebrow and cause the fight to end because of a head-butt. Even Roy Jones Jr. and the HBO cast weren’t shy about exploiting Timothy Bradley’s “head tactics” on the new boxing series called “The Fight Game”, which is hosted by Jim Lampley.
In an age when few read novels we sure see a lot of foreshadowing in the sport of boxing by its fans. The fight may very well end how some envision it ending, or it may very well be a very competitive fight. You never know; In fact, maybe Timothy Bradley will pull it off. Maybe he beats and overcomes all the odds including the blind judges at ringside. The truth is we’ve seen bigger upsets in this sport.
Only hindsight has 20/20 vision. For every fight you give me that you knew disaster was on its way I can name you another that you were completely wrong about. Of course I’m not going to recommend anyone to put up all the marbles for this fight. Don’t go on telling people this fight is going to revive boxing or anything like that. We truly don’t know how it’s going to turn out. People honesty sound like they want it to be a disaster just for they can be right. I want it to be a great fight and frankly I wouldn’t mind if we see Bradley pull the upset.
No matter how many times you slice it, dice it and try to wrap your words around it; frankly, Timothy Bradley has earned this shot. He did what Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz couldn’t and not only beat Lamont Peterson; he dominated him for 12 rounds. Devon Alexander can use Bradley’s head as an excuse all he wants; the man couldn’t handle the faster and hungrier Bradley. For his first Championship he beat Witter, a fighter Ricky Hatton avoided, in England and overcame the odds to get a decision there.
While he hardly knocks guys out, he sure makes a lot of them mentally quit after a couple of rounds. I’m not infatuated with “stats” in other sports like Football or Basketball and I’m sure not going to start caring with boxing. I don’t care how many Knockouts it shows on his record, the truth is that I’ve seen him make fighters quit. I’ve seen him break wills round by round and force fighters to either survive or find a way out. I also know that when a fighter starts fighting world-class competition the KO’s begin to drop. Since Bradley began fighting 12 round fights, eight fights ago when his KO percentage was over 50%, he faced guys that just weren’t getting knocked out. Junior Witter had never been knocked out, not even by prime Zab Judah in 2000. Edner Cherry has never been knocked out in his career. Lamont Peterson was undefeated and beat Amir Khan recently. Nate Cambell was knocked out in the mid-2000’s but that was because he wanted to be dumb and play around with his hands down and got caught. Nate Campbell was also coming off a dominating win over the same Juan Diaz that took Juan Manuel Marquez to war. Luis Carlos Abregu was undefeated and much bigger than Bradley. Devon Alexander was yet another undefeated fighter that Bradley dominated and was hurting frequently with the right hand, and then of course Alexander found a way out of the fight. The Casamayor fight? No one looks good against Casamayor I don’t care if he is old. Bradley won every second of every round until he knocked the man out anyway.
So to expect Bradley to have recent knockouts when he’s been fighting guys that don’t get knocked out or were undefeated seems unfair and ill-advised.
Does he use his head? Look, he doesn’t billy-goat guys like Ortiz did Mayweather, but he tactically uses it, just like Evander Holyfield did throughout his whole career and as did Bernard Hopkins. You have a right to choose not to watch if you want. But the 140 pound kingpin is getting his shot at Manny Pacquiao. He is in fact an underdog but that means absolutely nothing. Juan Manuel Marquez was a ridiculous underdog against Pacquiao too, yet he won the fight in the eyes of many.
You can make an argument about styles but that’s not my point, my point is about public perception. While its being presented as a tragic story of an undeserving warrior by some fans, not because of his reputation of winning but rather his reputation of being dirty, it seems to touch on the pure reality that all of us watching boxing for different reasons. Obviously everyone wants to be entertained, but the reality is that not all fights can be entertaining. There is a devious balance, as odd as that may sound, in boxing when it comes to winning and entertainment. We all want to see a knockout, but even the most brutal knockout is hard to enjoy if it’s a mismatch- for example. We all want to see world class fighters who look like they know what they’re doing, but we want them to drop the skills that got them to that level and just trade shots for the sake of trading. There’s what we want, what we need, what we love and what we hate; then the combination of all those things meshed together give us the greatest triumphs and glorious stories on the sport. That’s what creates the drama and ultimate clashes of fights like the one we all want in Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao.
While the possibilities of disaster are on the table, I would rather take that risk than never give Bradley his rightful shot. While some of us may not like it, it’s definitely refreshing to see someone like Bradley get a shot over an ageing Shane Mosley or an Antonio Margarito. The truth is, we’ve seen it all in boxing. The worst case scenarios have already happened in this sport and if the fight does end by a head butt it surely won’t be the end of the world. Although I admit, it may feel like it that night.
The truth is, if disaster strikes no one will suffer more by it than Timothy Bradley, that’s his marketing after all. But it’s good that they’re going to give the man who’s been doing this since he was a child his shot. Boxing is going to allow him to have his shot at not only Pacquiao’s Welterweight crown but also a shot at glory. He has a shot to get his name mentioned with the great upsets of our time; such as, Hopkins-Trinidad, Randall-Chavezm, Tyson-Douglas and Braddock- Baer.
After taking thousands of punches in fights and sparring over the years Bradley’s finally going to get hit with the ones that count the most. If there is one thing Manny Pacquiao does, he tests your heart from the opening bell with his storm of punches. Will Bradley survive the storm? Will he overcome that storm? Or, will he simply be the next victim to the storm?
While there are those who sit there believing they already know the outcome, sorry Nostradamus but you don’t, there is only one way to find out. There truth is that there are groups of fans out there that want to see this fight happen and have been asking for it since Bradley became the kingpin at 140.
What I won’t do is take Manny Pacquiao’s glory from him either. There are actually people out there saying this fight was put in place just to make Pacquiao look good. But what do the facts tell us? They tell us that Freddy Roach did not want this fight. The facts tell us that Bradley is anything but a fighter to look good against. If Pacquiao manages to give Bradley the” Nyquil treatment” on Saturday then he deserves credit for doing it.
Some fans think they’re clever but not as clever as they think they are. See, what they do is put a fighters in lose-lose situations yet fail to give you something that would impress them if it were to happen. So my challenge to you the reader is; Give me a scenario that would impress you. Would it impress you to see Pacquiao knockout Bradley? Or what if he outboxes Bradley, will that impress you? Will it impress you if Bradley wins the fight, ugly or not. You have a right to your prediction, although if you want to be Nostradamus you can’t claim all scenarios will not impress you because then you’re at least admitting you don’t really know what’s going to really happen. You just like putting fighters in lose-lose situations.
It’s a fragment of our society now. It’s almost like everyone is programmed to think negative. I understand that thinking negative only means you’re either going to be right or glad to be wrong. Both those things probably make you feel good. In the end, the fight is happening this Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena anyway, but just remember that being glad of being wrong still means you were wrong. Your negative notions, if you had any, for the Cotto-Mayweather fight robbed you of the gift of anticipation. Perhaps it’s boxing fault for letting so many of us down over the years and that I can truly understand.
This is boxing after all, a sport filled with emotions and betrayal that could last a lifetime. A young fighter out of Palm Springs California is getting the shot he deserves. Whether he fails or succeeds, its his shot and a victory over someone this hungry and dedicated to the sport would be impressive for even someone of Manny Pacquiao’s stature. Boxing is the ultimate form of competition. The sport is a test of will and preparedness. Bradley certainly has both in abundance. Will that be enough for him to “shock the world?” Who knows, but lets just let it all play out.