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Timothy Bradley will defend his WBO welterweight title against Russian challenger Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16, 2013 live on HBO at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California USA. This will be Bradley’s comeback fight after a controversial win over Manny Pacquiao in June 2012.
Bradley, 29-0 (KO 12) is a fighter who thinks and adjusts in real time during a fight yet does not have the needed sting on his punches to back off an aggressive opponent. His 12 KO’s against 29 wins is a testament to that.
Desert Storm, is a technically sound boxer that looks for angles to a surging opponent and fighting on backpedal that neutralizes aggression to compensate his lack of power.
Bradley used this technique against Pacquiao in the last six rounds which I believed was effective because he could not match Pacquiao’s power. But for the untrained eye to judge, it can be mistaken as merely running and avoiding.
Many believed that Bradley won most of the rounds in the second half of the fight but not enough to win the fight, not even close.
Ruslan Provodnikov, 22-1 (KO 15) is a very insistent slugger that overpowers his foe. He needs to be tough in order to impose his fighting style. He has better chances with a fighter who loves to trade punches and fight toe-to-toe. For a fighter that looks for angle and fight scientifically, he needs to be fast and sneaky.
Provodnikov’s key of winning against Bradley I think would rely upon the approach he will adjust in executing his attack. If he will just walk straight through Bradley; he will be greeted with combinations from an angle that will keep him out of balance for his own counters. He needs to cut the ring, corner Bradley to the ropes and let go bombs after bombs.
Although, Provodnikov could be successful at times to corner Bradley against the ropes but I think Bradley’s tough chin (Pacquiao’s left straight is a living witness) and head lead could be a factor. Bradley’s lack of power is well compensated also by his mental toughness and desire to win that he showed against Peterson. I pick Bradley to win via unanimous decision.
Here are the predictions from writers and sites around the web:
D’source Guillermo – Bradley UD 12
Bad Left Hook Staff – Ryan Bivins – Bradley UD 12
Scott Christ – Bradley by shut-out type decision
Kory Kitchen – Bradley by Decision (117-111 vicinity)
David Oakes Bradley by wide decision
ESNEWS – Alber Alvarez – “I’m picking The Desert Storm Bradley to win by late stoppage or by Unanimous Decision.”
Noel Clubb – Boxing Trainer, via MMA Crosfire – Bradley by UD 12
Tim Starks – The Queens-berry rules – Bradley UD 12