THE MAILBAG SCENE
By Ben Dean
Scoring Timothy Bradley's split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez 9-3 for Bradley, thatís a joke! What fight were you watching? Marquez was the one trying to make a fight. He landed harder shots. I have no problem with Bradley winning but the fight was close and some of the rounds he was credited with could have gone Marquez's way.
Ben Dean's response: If you think the fight could have went Marquez's way, you either need glasses, or a re-education on the criteria a fight is scored upon. How did Marquez land the harder shots, when he was the only one stumbling across the ring in the fight? You my friend are biased (most likely a style bias). The guy using the style you liked was ineffective, while the guy with the style you don't care for was effective. Unfortunately, too,many judges in the sport share this affliction.
Ben- First of all, great article about Tim Bradley. it appears at times that a boxer does have to win a boxing match on their opponents' terms! The more I read about the Tim Bradleys, Andre Wards, Adrien Broners (especially in the Paul Malignaggi fight) and Terence Crawfords, I laugh. If these fighters don't go out there and take a lot of punishment, their wins get minimized. They get called boring or referred to as not exciting. That is crazy to me! I'm 38 yrs young and I was born in St . Louis following boxing thru my parents eyes with the Spinks brothers. You know, the type of parents that had fight parties in the neighborhood, and I was sneaking, trying to stay up late and watch the action and mysteriously waking up in my own bed not realizing how I got there. I like all races of boxers: Hispanic, Cuban, White, Black & whatever, as long as you bring it! However out of all the races excluding the younger Klitschko brother, the only race of boxers that I see consistently getting called out are fighters with brown skin! It is so obvious and apparent...that it bothers me! Historically the black athlete has constantly gotten questioned on his intelligence or lack thereof. So in one of the most violent and physically demanding sports, he does not take a lot of abuse on the highest levels and he is criticized. Its sad and stupid, so for all the aforementioned fighters that I mentioned (also Guillermo Rigondeaux), keep fighting your way. I enjoy it and I will keep paying to watch you. -- C/Hawk
Ben Dean's Response: C Hawk, excellent comment: "there's nothing cool about taking punishment." We have all heard Floyd Mayweather, the pound-for-pound Picasso say that. I'm the same way.. I can appreciate all boxers and a multitude of styles. I view the myriad of styles within the sport as I view the diversity in life...AS A BEAUTIFUL THING. Wouldn't life be boring if we all walked, talked and thought the same? If in life there existed no variety, but all was vanilla and uniform. Well, many of these critics act like this is what they want. No defensive skill, nuance or wizardry. Just two guys that come forward and beat each others brains out like two robots. There is so much STYLE BIAS out there. I was telling another guy that wrote in... We all have styles we prefer, and ones that make us cringe. However, when that preference begins to cloud what we see.. Then objectivity is lost. I will give you an example. Wladimir Klitschko was absolutely cringe-worthy in his last fight. His style made me want to puke. I would literally rather sit in an open field and watch cows eat grass for 36 minutes..then to watch his win over Alexander Povetkin again. The jab, grab and lay style employed was conduct unbecoming of a man 6"6 & 245lbs. However, it was maximally EFFECTIVE. Therein lies the difference. I don't let my distaste for a style, remove my objectivity for effectiveness and recognizing it when I see it.
I enjoyed your article on the Bradley-Marquez scoring debate. I agree with you. Bottom line...Marquez waits for his opponent too much to win close fights. His opponent always gets the benefit of the doubt because Marquez is always letting the opponent lead and take more risks. Many counter punchers always come up short on decisions because of this. Bernard Hopkins, Ike Quartey, Winky Wright, etc. Even beyond that like you said, this fight really wasn't close. One guy was effective over longer periods in more rounds than the other guy.
Ben Dean's Response: Sean, thanks for writing in. I agree with you, Juan Manuel Marquez does do a lot of waiting. Against Manny Pacquiao, this style works to perfection due to Pac's often times reckless aggression. JMM knew Pac would over-commit, so he would lay back and wait for him to do so. As you said the counter puncher often has a rough go and struggles when he is in with someone that's not running to him, and he's forced to look for his opportunities because they are not readily available as he is used to. If you noticed in this fight Bradley actually out counter punched JMM for long spells. When JMM is being out-countered, you know he is having a rough go of it. I know in boxing A beats B does not equal C.. & because Mayweather schooled JMM, and JMM KO'd Pac does not mean A+B=C ... But I always thought JMM and Pac always gave each other such tough fights because they were on the same level, a few levels beneath Floyd Mayweather. Pac had faster feet than JMM but proved he didnt have the ring IQ the mexican warrior had. Despite his ring IQ, that slick style combined with boxing ability and speed is just a nightmare for JMM. That style is absolutely kryptonite for him.
Remember, Juan Manuel Marquez was also losing the (fourth) Manny Pacquiao fight before the foot stumping/punch (lucky in my opinion). This only proves to me that Pacquiao is the better fighter.
Ben Dean's Response: Carlos, I had the fight even leading up to the knockout, but the momentum had definitely swung Pacquiao's way. LOL at your characterization of it as a foot stomp punch... My brother actually pointed it out to me the night it happened, but Marquez doesn't actually step on Pac's foot... Their feet actually met in the air...forcing Pac's foot to hit the canvas in what looked to be just slightly shy or a shortened step from where it would've landed. Marquez' left foot seemed to land in more of a natural path of where he was looking to step/plant. I'm not going to harp on this too much though because Pac stepped on JMM foot in the 5th to get a knockdown that was actually a trip. This much isn't debatable though..JMM hit Pac with right hand after right hand in their bouts, and through 4 fights, trainer Freddie Roach and Pac never adjusted (Bradley within one fight adjusted to the right hand). Luck would be.. had he not landed the same punch repeatedly through 4 fights, and not just tagged Pac with it so hard he spun backwards in round fivr. You my friend, may just have a case of the sour grapes. How does someone else beating JMM then count as a win for Pac and prove his superiority over him? You might make that argument, if last we saw them in the ring together, he wasn't laying face down sleep.
Send questions and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org