Saturday, June 9, 2012
Sat, 09 Jun 2012
SUDDENLY, it has become truly hard finding the real Timothy Bradley.
He has not turned singularly elusive.
He’s always there, very visible with his big shaven head.
But the unbeaten 28-year-old challenger to Manny Pacquiao’s world welterweight crown has also become many fighters all at the same time.
From a flat, small-punching fellow, Bradley has mysteriously reinvented himself into a fearsome giant-killer.
He didn’t even have to throw a single punch.
All he did was tell the world how he would conquer the amazing warrior-lawmaker from the Republic of the Philippines.
Everybody listened and seemed convinced of what Bradley was telling.
It was a hard-sell unmatched and unheard of since Muhammad Ali.
Bradley may have stepped out of bounds in advertising his presumed superiority when he also started selling his promised rematch to Pacquiao in November.
In fairness to Bradley, all these screaming claims could have been sourced from overriding self-confidence.
He must’ve honestly felt at his peak, having trained hardest for this dream bout.
There’s also no reason to suspect these incredible marketing gimmicks were intended to mask his previous worth.
There actually was very little knowledge locally about Bradley’s original caliber.
But on Tuesday, Solar Sports showed a replay of at least three Bradley bouts.
A panel of three, composed of this reporter, side-street fight critic Nick Bruan of Santa Barbara, Pangasinan, and self-taught sociologist Tony Bulatao, watched and sized up Bradley.
What we saw there was a complete contrast of what Bradley has successfully bragged about himself.
If in basketball there’s such a gift as playing tall, Bradley provided the complete contrast in boxing by fighting small.
He had inferior, plodding artillery coupled with suspect defense.
He neither had a solid punch nor a dominant style.
But, thanks to the magic of public speaking, Bradley has been promoted overnight into the worthiest challenger to Pacquiao, who goes for a 16th straight win today.
Bradley had initially claimed he saw no chance for Pacquiao.
Then, in a series of strong, colorful jabs, Bradley also made it known how he would give the eight-division world champion hell.
He first said he would do it through superior counter-punching.
He next said he would lure and trap Pacquiao into a slug-out.
Next heard of, Bradley was saying he would try to slip and use lateral moves to avoid the expected firebombs.
In short, Bradley had invented too many Better Bradleys all at the same time.
His artillery, to put it mildly, has also turned into a confusing jumble of invented abilities.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao trumpeted nothing, although trainer Freddie Roach claimed his most prized warrior would go for a knockout.
Bradley must’ve been targeting the lost, spiritless Pacquiao who had agonized against Juan Manuel Morales last November.
It may be too late, but Bradley must be told Roach has promised the original Pacific Storm, described as a new bullet, to engage Bradley in a duel of durability any moment now.
It’s a must for the invented Tim Bradley to prove he’s for real if he’s to survive.