By Julie Buehler
Timothy Bradley Jr. works harder than most people play.
He sculpts his body within millimeters of body fat, shredding any semblance of doubt that opposition has exerted more effort while he shreds his physique.
And while he works hard to get physically faster, stronger and more dominant that his opponent, he still recognizes that boxing is a subjectively judged sport and that 3 judges hold the power to decide who wins or loses, baring a knockout, and in preparation of his fight on Oct. 12 against Juan Manuel Marquez, he’s carefully studied the ways to beat Marquez and the ways to win over the judges.
In an interview with Buehler’s Day Off, I asked Bradley about his strategy against Marquez going into this fight. Marquez has the power to knock formerly-fan-favorite Manny Pacquiao on his face- literally – and embarrassed the former champ, so what could Bradley learn from that fight?
“Pacquiao, got a head of himself, got over confident and when you do that to a guy like Marquez, he’ll hurt you,” stated Bradley during his interview on Buehler’s Day Off. “He (Pacquiao) was tired of going to the score cards and trying for the knockout and in the process he ended up getting knocked out… can’t knock Pac for going for the KO.”
Bradley knows why Pacquio may want to avoid a fight going to the score cards as Bradley beat Pacquio in a decision last year. The controversy over the decision has been well documented, but WHY Bradley won the fight has not.
In a sport where big names get an automatic nod of approval from the public, a challenger not only has to beat the champ in the ring, but also the preconceived notions of the judges sitting ringside.
And according to Bradley, the fact that judges see each fight differently is a part of the sport he embraces and accounts for in his fight prep.
“It’s part of the sport. There’s nothing wrong with that,” Bradley said.
“At the end of the day, it all boils down to a few judges sitting there and what they like. Some judges like boxers, some like the visitor guy, some like the guy that throws the harder shots. It depends on what they’re looking for and we as fighters, don’t know.”
In 28 bouts, Bradley has only 12 knockouts, with more than half of his victories coming by decision. When a guy is the undefeated, WBO Welterweight Champion, that doesn’t just happen by chance.
“I just try to mix it up. I’m pleasing all the judges. I know how to win fights and that’s what got me to this position,” Bradley said.
After the Mayweather-Canelo fight sent the majority of boxing fans back to the drawing board, looking for a fighter who can beat the fast-talking, big-living Mayweather, it’s becoming clear the answer might not be IN the ring, but a better understanding of the judges sitting outside.
For Bradley, his next bout on Oct 12th could be the one that finally offers him the recognition and respect among those inside and outside the boxing community.
For the entire Bradley interview, including his favorite type of Dorito, visit www.team1010.com/podcasts.
Julie Buehler hosts the Coachella Valley’s most popular sports talk radio show, “Buehler’s Day Off” every day from 3-6 on 1010 KXPS, the valley’s all sports station. She’s an avid gym rat, slightly sarcastic and more likely to recite Steve Young’s career passing stats than American Idol winners. Tune in M-F 3-6 pst at www.team1010.com or watch the show on Ustream.