By Andreas Hale | RingTV.com
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – There were concerns about whether or not Teddy Atlas could make a difference in Timothy Bradley with just seven weeks of training. Those questions were partially answered as Bradley rolled to a picturesque performance against Brandon Rios that was punctuated by a scintillating ninth-round TKO in front of a pro-Rios but also very sparse crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The knockout was impressive in itself as Bradley’s last win by stoppage came in 2011 against a faded Joel Casamayor. Before that? Nasser Athumani in 2007. The last time Brandon Rios had been knocked out? Never.
Bradley was shifty, sharp, accurate and simply a much better fighter than Rios. The only thing that you could question about the Bradley and Atlas union was who exactly was that man he fought in the ring? He looked like Rios, granted a Rios that had ballooned from 147 pounds to 170 on fight night. But when the bell rang he was flat and right there to be picked apart. Bradley obliged and used an effective blend of boxing and brawling to keep him off balance.
“The plan was to take a piece out of Rios every round and not get greedy,” Atlas said. “Take a piece, break him down and then you finish him off.”
And that’s exactly what Bradley did.
For eight rounds, Desert Storm landed the jab, put together combinations, sat in the pocket, and essentially beat Rios in every facet of the game. Each round, Bradley introduced a different part of his game. He started out of the gates fast and used aggression to surprise the bigger puncher. When Rios figured the fight would take place on the inside, Bradley popped out and shot the jab. Then he introduced body punching to Rios’ soft midsection. And as he noticed that Rios’ conditioning wasn’t up to par, he would clinch and lean on him against the ropes to squeeze whatever boxing life Rios had left. The Compubox stats tell a better story. Bradley landed 254 out of 570 punches (45%) and 54% of his power punches. Meanwhile, Rios could only land 18% of his punches (81 of 454).
By the time Round 9 began, Rios looked ripe for the taking and the 32-year-old scored his first knockout in nearly five years.
“I just did what Teddy told me to do,” Bradley said.
By Francisco Salazar | Boxingscene.com
(CARSON, Calif) – It may not have been the all-out war he had with Ruslan Provodnikov over two years ago, but Timothy Bradley sure makes for compelling fights in Carson.
The fight also includes a rather bizarre ending on Saturday night. It was reminiscent of the closing moments of Bradley’s fight with Provodnikov, where Tim was in serious trouble.
Officially, Bradley won a 12 round unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas, but the real drama took place in the final thirty seconds, where none of the boisterous crowd of 4,711 at the Stubhub Center knew what was going on.
Instead of the focus being on what Bradley did for almost 12 rounds, the focus was more on the actions of referee Pat Russell.
The win snapped a two-bout winless streak for Bradley and he won the interim WBO welterweight title in the process. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the full WBO champion and has until the first week of July to advise the sanctioning body if he intends to keep the title.
Some in boxing wondered whether all the hard-fought bouts Bradley has fought in, including the Provodnikov fight, would begin to slow Bradley down. He was facing a fighter in Vargas, who was youth and strength to his advantage.
Bradley dismissed all that talk with a resounding and dominant performance against Vargas, who did come to win, but simply could not match talent and skill of the Palm Springs, Calif. resident.
By Lyle Fitzsimmons | Boxingscene.com
Reintroduction time has arrived for Timothy Bradley.
The popular Californian is a former champion in two weight classes and has a slew of familiar names on his resume, but it’s been nearly two years since he emerged from a ring with a decisive victory.
His most recent fight – against Diego Chaves in December – ended in a disputed draw, but even those who thought Bradley deserved the verdict weren’t overwhelmed with the quality of his work.
He’ll step in on Saturday with Jessie Vargas, another ex-champ at 140 pounds looking to climb.
The bout is being billed by Top Rank as a WBO championship match, though the validity of that claim has been called into question by the belt’s most recent holder – Floyd Mayweather Jr. – who suggests rumors of his voluntarily surrendering the strap have been greatly exaggerated.
Bradley was a WBC and WBO champion at 140, then became the WBO’s welterweight claimant after his controversial decision win over Manny Pacquiao. He defended twice, outpointing both Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez, before losing the title back to Pacquiao in 2014.
Bradley sat down for a fight-week interview to discuss Vargas as a foe, the urgency to reinvigorate the “Desert Storm” brand and the quest he’s on to get fights with names at 147, 154 and 160 pounds.
Q: Give me a sense of your preparation and how you feel at this point?
A: I’m just relaxed. Very relaxed. This is just another guy that I’ve got to beat. This is for the world championship, so it’s added fuel, added motivation for myself. Camp went really good. I’m injury free. I feel great. I feel confident going into the fight. There’s nothing else to say. I’m ready to go and I’m ready for this challenge.
Q: After all the guys you’ve been in with, is Vargas a foe you have to fuel yourself to get up for?
A: I’m fighting for the world championship. When the belt is on the line, everybody can fight. Anybody can fight. This is something that Vargas has been waiting on his whole entire life. He’s going to come ready, but like I say all the time, every time I get prepared for a fight, I don’t prepare for my opponent. I ain’t got to prep for my opponent. I’m prepared for Vargas. You go into training camp, and yeah, you have the sparring partners similar to his style, whatever, but that’s the only important thing about Vargas. Other than that, as long as I wake up in the morning and I look at myself in the mirror and I dedicate myself to my craft, I work hard, I run, I do everything I’m supposed to do, I don’t fear Vargas whatsoever. I don’t fear any of my opponents whatsoever. I don’t ever think about them. I’m just trying to prepare myself to be the best I can be, so that night the fight will be easy.
By Alan Massengale, | RingTv.com
RingTV’s Alan Massengale caught up with Tim Bradley in Indian Wells, California. The two-division champ spoke about his June 27 fight with undefeated Jessie Vargas, how he can cause Floyd Mayweather Jr. problems (if he ever got the shot) and other subjects in this exclusive interview.
By Lyle Fitzsimmons, Featured Columnist | Bleacherreport.com
Welcome back to the big time, Tim Bradley.
Inactive for eight months since a loss to Manny Pacquiao and winless since toppling Juan Manuel Marquez six months prior, the former two-division champ returned to premium-cable headline status with a grinding unanimous-decision defeat of rugged Argentine gatekeeper Diego Chaves.
Or at least he should have.
Instead, thanks to the second poor decision on a three-fight Saturday night HBO card, Bradley had to settle for a split-decision draw after one judge had him winning seven rounds, one had it even at 6-6 and the third saw Chaves as somehow-superior in eight of 12.
Bleacher Report scored it 8-4 for Bradley.
HBO’s Max Kellerman labeled the vote for Chaves, from Julie Lederman, as “a bad scorecard.”
Bradley agreed, but was more diplomatic.
“I thought I won the fight clearly,” he said, “but if the judges saw it a different way, there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Though the verdict left Bradley at 31-1-1 in a pro career that began a decade ago, it should nonetheless get him back into the big-fight conversation he’d previously reached, thanks to consecutive defeats of Devon Alexander (TD 10), Joel Casamayor (TKO 8), Pacquiao (SD 12), Ruslan Provodnikov (UD 12) and Marquez (SD 12) from 2011 to 2013.
“Everything’s possible with me,” he said.
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com
Throughout his 10-year professional boxing career, Timothy Bradley Jr. has won world titles in two weight classes and has faced a who’s who of top opponents, so even though he is coming off his first defeat — a time when many fighters would look for a soft touch — he isn’t about to change his mentality.
Bradley will return to the ring to face hard-punching contender Diego Chaves of Argentina in a scheduled 12-round welterweight fight Dec. 13 (HBO) at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The fight has been agreed to by both sides, and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that contracts have been sent out for signatures.
“I’m excited to get back into the ring and showcase myself,” Bradley told ESPN.com on Thursday night. “Chaves is not that well known but the boxing fans know him. The boxing fans know that this guy can fight and that it won’t be a walk in the park for me. I think it’s going to be a great fight. I can’t wait.”
Bradley and Chaves both are coming off losses, giving them even more urgency to win. Bradley lost a decision and his welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao in their April 12 rematch of Bradley’s hugely controversial split-decision victory to claim the belt from Pacquiao in June 2012.
“My mindset is I can’t sit here and beat myself up over a loss to Manny Pacquiao,” Bradley said. “He’s one of the greatest fighters of this generation. I can look back and see what I did wrong and say, ‘I shoulda done this or I shoulda done that.’ But I know I’m a world-class fighter.
“I went 24 rounds with Manny Pacquiao, and he never really hurt me. I took Ruslan Provodnikov’s best shots [in a decision win], I took Manny Pacquiao’s best shots, and I took [Juan Manuel] Marquez’s best shots and beat him, too. I know I can take Diego Chaves’ best shots. I know I can hang with the best of them.”