Five keys for Timothy Bradley Jr.
Plotting a path to victory in Saturday's title bout against Juan Manuel Marquez
Even after defeating Manny Pacquiao and Ruslan Provodnikov in his past two fights, undefeated welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr., knows he needs another big-time victory to get the recognition he deserves.
Timothy Bradley Jr.- Juan Manuel Marquez
Where: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas
When: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET/PT
TV: HBO PPV
Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) will have that opportunity against four-division titlist Juan Manuel Marquez at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday.
A victory over Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) would elevate him to a place among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Here are five keys to victory for Bradley against Marquez:
Now you see me ...
|In his previous fight against Provodnikov, Bradley showed he can trade leather, too. However, against Marquez he has already said he will not risk a "toe-to-toe" clash. He is right; he neither can nor should do that. He will have to go in, punch, move out and punch from the angles. Bradley's offense will be somewhat similar to a battleground strategy. The enemy may assume he is there, but must never see him coming.|
|Standing still for an instant in front of Marquez is an invitation to be knocked out. Bradley must avoid being a sitting duck, at all costs. Marquez is one of those few champions who needs only one punch to finish a fight and those kinds of punches always come in a split second. Bradley must keep him busy, moving sideways, confusing him and forcing Marquez to be more worried about finding him rather than hitting him.|
Watch the counterattack
|This is an unavoidable key for all of Marquez's opponents. Just ask Pacquiao. Against the king of counterpunches, one must make an effort during the fight to stay away from that implacable hammer that the Mexican fighter throws. It is obvious to imagine that Bradley will be entering Marquez's radar from the left side. This will be the best way to stay away from the immediate response of his right hand.|
Right to the point
|Bradley will be betting on a long fight, just like he had in his victory against Pacquiao. For this reason, it's convenient to increase the intensity progressively and, if necessary, risk only in the last part of the fight. The right method will be moving Marquez around the entire ring, getting him tired, breaking his concentration and frustrating him. This is especially important toward the end of each round. Not looking good is secondary. Piling up points is the essential task, and that's how he has always won, even though the fans have booed him to death at times.|
|Bradley is 30 years old but he is still trying to get his career off the ground in terms of popularity, in spite of his undefeated run and the quality of the opponents he has beaten. His style is a burden to him, to be truthful. But if he beats Marquez there will be no more questions, and he may even enter history as the champion who retired Marquez, the future Hall of Famer. Motivation, hunger, will -- those are tools that are still missing in his personality. Bradley must appeal to his emotions in order to seize this opportunity to enter boxing history.|
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