By Tom Donelson
Author, Member of Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA)
Las week Tim Bradley fought Brandon Rios and this would be his first fight with Ted Atlas, who returned as a trainer after years in the broadcast booth. Atlas goal was to have Bradley use the ring and fight from angles as oppose to sit in front of his opponent and play warrior. Bradley has always been a good boxer but he also shown to be a tough fighter who didn’t mind getting into fire fight. This strategy didn’t always work out in his favor even in victory as his tough victory over Ruslan Providnikov showed in which Bradley survived knockdowns to win a close decision.
Against Rios, Bradley used his hand speed and simply hit Rios at will. With the exception of the second round, all the other rounds were hardly competitive as Bradley moved side to side while nailing Rios with combinations. After the third round, Bradley could see that Rios was too slow to compete against him.
After the sixth round, Bradley started to sit down on his punches. In the eight hand, two big Bradley nailed Rios and Rios knees buckled. Bradley went for the knock out but Rios managed to make it back to his corner.
In the ninth, Bradley unleashed a vicious body shot that hurt Rios that sent Rios down. Rios beat the count barely but Bradley finished the job as he landed body shots followed up with an uppercut that sent Rios a second time. At this point the referee stopped the fight and that was that.
Bradley put his entire arsenal on display and showed mobility throughout the bout. Bradley rarely got hit by a solid shot by Rios and for every punch Rios landed, he received three from Bradley. As for Rios, this was his swan song as he announce his retirement. Rios looked slow and never could going as Bradley nailed him with quick combinations and then moved out of the way of Rios’ punches.
Tim Bradley is now in the Manny Pacquiao last fight sweep stakes along with Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Terrance Crawford. Crawford and Bradley are both promoted by Bob Arum and that could be one reason in their favor if Arum insist on a Top Rank fighter taking on Pacquiao.
Whether fans would see a third Bradley-Pacquiao fight or whether Crawford is big enough name to attract big PPV numbers is another thing but Pacquiao is looking for one more big pay day before entering Philippines politics.