BEN DEAN'S MAILBAG SCENE
Here is my honest and succinct assessment of Timothy Bradley as a fighter. I had never been a big fan of him as a boxer but I am starting to appreciate his style and superb ring smarts. However, I believe his biggest attribute remains his pure determination to win regardless of how it is done. He is not afraid of anything and he genuinely believes he is in the top of the pound-for-pound list. If you give him the chance, I honestly believe he will be on the top in no time. Watch out, Floyd Mayweather.
Ben Dean's response: Determination is that huge factor that can never be underestimated. Consider that Ricardo Mayorga entered the ring against the late great Vernon Forrest, with some of the worst punching technique seen at the championship level. But he was able to take a pure boxer like Vernon, and through sheer determination and willpower, he baited Forrest into fighting the fight on his terms and stopping him inside three rounds. Forrest had just beat the pound-for-pound best, Shane Mosley. Pride caused Forrest to get into a brawl he didn't need to be in. Mayorga believed in himself to the degree that he gave less than two cents about what Forrest had done. He told Forrest that he would knock him out, and take his wife back home to sweep up his backyard in Nicaragua. Forrest didn't even have a wife. That wasn't the point. If was that his self belief and determination wasn't going to be denied on this this occasion. I have seen fighters that believed they were better than they were, and therefore they were.
I remember your "Double Standard" article. You may remember that I commented on it, and specifically mentioned Tim Bradley and his fight with Ruslan Provodnikov while making a counter point. I did not agree with you then, but I do in this case. Bradley showed serious versatility in transitioning back to a smooth boxer for his latest victory. Its nice when we see a fighter who can outbox a boxer yet has the balls to slug it out with a slugger. He has really impressed me in those back to back performances and has earned his pound-for-pound recognition. As for Juan Manuel Marquez, I've never really liked him. Its not his style but his attitude. He cries more than John Boehner and its never really justified. Saying he got robbed six times is ridiculous. And saying he doesn't want to fight Manny Pacquiao again after finally getting a win is chicken sh*t. If he has always been better, as he claims, why not do it again for a crap load of money?
I personally did not think this fight was that close. Bradley's punches had more of an effect than those of Marquez. And at the end of the 12th Marquez looked every bit of 40 years old. People underestimate Bradley's punching ability. During the middle rounds of the Provodnikov fight, Ruslan's corner was considering stopping the contest because of the punishment he was taking. But all people talk about are rounds 1,2, and 12.
At this point it would not be a disappointment to see Marquez retire. But I can't wait to see what Bradley has in store next.-- Allen (Nor Cal)
Ben Dean's Response: Allen, I remember you..how's it going in Norcal? I remember your point about Bradley Provodnikov. It shall be interesting to see Ruslan this weekend against Mike Alvarado. This fight should tell us how much of the Bradley fight was his power, or how much Tim cutting weight was impacting his ability to take a shot that night.
Bradley did show very smooth versatility and a solid boxing acumen and ring IQ. He doesnt receive enough credit, but say what you will about him..all the kid does is WIN. He has compiled a pretty impressive resume. While king at 140 he left his division to chase manny and floyd. Since about the age of 27, he has fought or pursued every top name he could get his hands on. You could argue he signed with Top Rank and Bob Arum solely based on his desire to face one of the best. Regardless of what you felt of the judging in his fight vs pacman..all he did was go out on a fractured foot, horribly sprained ankle..and while seriously compromised gave it his all. That is to be commended.
I love Marquez the fighter, but dislike some of the crying he does. I watched the Barrera fight and thought he lost the night it happened. There is only one fight I agree outright robbery with him on and thats pac vs marquez 3.. He won that fight to me clearly.. And the compubox numbers that had Pac landing all these blows were beyond a joke.
JMM did look slow of foot. & i honestly thought he looked slow of hands in the Pac fight. He was able however, to land (with full power) the two punches that mattered that night using timing.
Your line that he cries more than Boehner is a certified mailbag classic!!
After a few years watching fights, you can see very early in fights which boxer is doing what he wants etc. Tim Bradley had Juan Manuel Marquez totally bazookered but you have to remember that most fans and a lot of boxing fans just react to the swings and punches etc. Kudos on your story.--Jay
Ben Dean's response: Jay, regards to my friends across the pond. You make an excellent point about fans reacting wildly to swings and punches. The crowd was going wild every time Marquez threw one of his patented overhand rights. It didn't matter if Bradley blocked it on the glove, or ducked under it and sent his own right hand counter sending spray off of the head of Marquez. I watched a documentary on youtube once that showed Manny Pacquiao either missing or having punches blocked by Bradley, that in live motion I was giving Pac credit for. Sometimes it is difficult during live action to see if a shot lands flush. There were a few times during HBO's telecast that JMM was given credit for shots that were blocked.
I firmly believe Bradley has JMM's number. Its just a bad style matchup for him. I think JMM's success with Pacquaio sort of overshadows how he would do versus an athletic boxer with speed. Pacquaio is athletic with speed (hand and foot) but doesn't fight in a manner that maximizes these advantages through ring IQ. He uses them in an attack method, that vs JMM plays to his disadvantage. Style man. An athletic boxer with a good ring IQ.. that beats Marquez everytime. Mayweather, Bradley.. come to think of it, the Zahir Raheem that beat Morales may have beaten JMM as well. That style is kryptonite for him.
There’s only two things that Floyd Mayweather can do to be the best ever-, that’s pick up two lineal championships. Nobody would [pay to see] him vs. Danny Garcia at 147 pounds, but the stakes are higher if he comes down to 140 pounds, whips Garcia and then in September fight Sergio Martinez @ 154.5 pounds to take the middleweight world championship. So that would make championships at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds……with 140, 147, 154 and 160 simultaneously which equals The Best Ever
Ben Dean's Response:
That is one of the more interesting scenarios I have read. I agree with you..that is the plan that would do most for his legacy. That would also be the riskiest, most daring challenge for him too. I see him easily beating Sergio Martinez...in fact another writer and I used to both think Floyd should have targeted Kelly Pavlik to take the lineal middleweight championship... and he could have actually won. I felt this fight would have looked a lot like his win over Carlos Baldomir fight...with more at risk due to the power disadvantage, but considerably more reward
Back to your point. I think fFloyd could make 140, but being the sports draw, he would never allow himself to move down and concede an advantage to someone else at their weight (below him). At age 36, Floyd likely wouldn't want to go to that well and train and diet like an SOB to make 140, especially when he can probably make the same money to stay in his weight class. He just is not daring in the Henry Armstrong hold titles at 126, 135, & 147 simultaneously type of way. Henry just didn't care and that's no knock against Floyd. He is a contemporary beast..but that's an era where they simply didn't care.. If you factor in that there were no junior weight divisions in Armstrong's times, that's the equivalent of Henry holding titles at 126, 130, 135, 140, 147... And rumor has it he actually beat the linear middleweight king Ceferino Garcia but they called it a draw... That would firmly put the range of 154-160 in his domain as well. That means he could have very well been the man across 7 weight classes at the same time... WOW
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