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Bradley Vs. Rios - Wear, Tear and Time
By Allan Cerf, Dog House Boxing (Nov 6, 2015)

Bradley Vs. Rios
Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Piggy Bank Parody  - Click for more assorted Boxing Parody Images by icheehuahua, Doghouse Boxing
The combatants to what should be a solid fight at the Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas (HBO) Saturday November 8, 2015, Timothy Bradley and Brandon Rios, are no strangers to boxing fans, particularly Bradley. Both are well-known, well-liked with considerable fan bases helped both by their memorable fights and pleasant personalities. "Desert Storm," of course, split a pair of decisions with a near-prime Manny Pacquiao - though only Ray Charles and Bradley's nuclear family really believed that Storm prevailed in the first contest. Bradley may be just past his absolute physical prime, an opinion that the super-ripped, unbelievably conditioned man from Palm Springs would probably flatten me for suggesting. Bradley has all the punches and loves to force violent action on his opponents despite a modest KO percentage. It is these many thrilling wars that have lead some insiders to think Rios has a real shot - most agree Bradley's all-round game would be too much if, like an old Corolla, Desert Storm hadn't clocked a lot of miles.

The Kansas born Rios was, to quote his network, "on the doorstep of fame" moments before the first bell of his bout with of Miguel Acosta in a fight - how time flies - almost 5 years ago, that won him the WBA strap. His thrilling KO seemed to herald the arrival of a new star. As we all know, Rios will gladly take 1 - or even 3, to deliver his own and loves, like most fans, toe-to-toe work, though he can box well - as is mandatory for a fighter with over 230 amateur fights. Common opponent Manny Pacquaio easily defeated Rios, who never really mounted a serious challenge in any round and faded badly to boot. Rios conceded Pacman's speed was overwhelming. Rios tested positive following the Pacquaio fight for the banned stimulant DMAA, commonly found in the dangerous "Jack 3D" product available, I guess, over-the-counter. Far from a dangerous steroid, true, yet it's hard to understand Rios blaming a 'Russian' VADA official who took the Urine sample in Macau following the Pacquiao fight.

Fighters Scorecards:

Timothy Bradley:
Speed: B+
Power: B-
Defense: B
Reach: B-
Stamina: A
Experience: A
Age: C

Average of all letter grades: B

Brandon Rios:
Speed: B
Power: B+
Defense: B
Reach: C
Stamina: B-
Experience: B+
Age: B

Average of all letter grades: B-

Reality Check:

As I and other scribes constantly note - in another Era - and in all other sports - even other combat sports, a loss wouldn't devastate the careers of either of these warriors but boxing's 'poli-tricks' have changed all that. Rios, to his immense credit, says he will NOT go down to defeat because he's unwilling to risk life/limb for short dough which he figures would be the case if he loses. He says losing is absolutely not happening - and of course, many have said this before. I believe him. Throwing caution to the winds didn't happen vs Pacquiao - and would have only led to unconsciousness. However, Bradley is a step - and only one - below Pacquaio and so I believe Rios will indeed let it rip. I believe he has a corner edge, too, in Robert Garcia as the smart, but strange Teddy Atlas who in a big shocker, took over the reins as Bradley's Trainer, is all over the board. In his commentating, Atlas covers microscopic points and I can't see minutiae playing well in the 60 seconds between rounds. Also, a fighter of Bradley's skill set could literally coach himself, in my view.

Personal: Both Bradley and Rios are among the nicest people in the sport. Their smiles are real and Rios spends every waking, non-fighting moment, planning practical jokes - a man after my own heart. Bradley loves his family and his hobby - his cars... Both men credit their very careers to their wives - Bradley's wife (then girlfriend) stayed with him when the VERY expensive sport of boxing meant their checking account was down to eleven bucks. Rios credits his psychologist wife for overseeing his re-dedication to his potentially deadly profession - no more 7-11 binges, no half-assed training. No short dough. Word to Brandon: She's a keeper!

The Fight: I slightly favor Tim Bradley because of his bigger toolbox, and the fact that Rios got lucky in a couple of fights he could easily have lost. Also, Bradley actually did some damage vs. common opponent Pacquiao - Rios did not. Bradley's achilles heel is that, while ideally a boxer or boxer puncher, he likes to go for broke and slug - as he did in his thrilling bout with Ruslan Provodnikov, one which probably would have earned the admiration of Joe Stalin. I'm VERY hopeful fireworks like that ensue in this one. Bradley by close but valid decision with sporadic but extended, brutal exchanges.

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