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BRADLEY BEATS THE “BAM” OUT OF RIOS

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November 8, 2015, Queens, NY  Some pairings are made in heaven and some in hell. I’m not talking about two fighters being paired in the ring; I’m talking about the pairing of fighter and trainer. Timothy Bradley changed horses mid-career to be trained by retired trainer and television boxing analyst, Teddy Atlas. The early results point to this being a pairing made in heaven as Timothy Bradley (33-1-1-1, 13 KOs) defeated Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (33-3-1, 23 KOs) by TKO in the ninth round when referee Tony Weekes halted the bout.

Atlas Being Atlas

Atlas Being Atlas

But the best drama may have been between the 7th and 8th rounds when Teddy Atlas went “Teddy Atlas” motivating and criticizing his fighter simultaneously. Here’s Atlas at his best: “Look, the fire is coming. Are you ready for the fire? We’re firemen. WE ARE FIREMEN. THE HEAT DOESN’T BOTHER US. WE LIVE IN THE HEAT. WE TRAIN IN THE HEAT. IT TELLS US THAT WE’RE READY. WE’RE HOME. WE’RE WHERE WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE. FLAMES DON’T INTIMIDATE US. WHAT DO WE DO? WE CONTROL THE FLAMES. WE MOVE THE FLAME WHERE WE WANT TO. AND THEN WE EXTINGUISH THEM.”

Damn, I mean Darn, Teddy. The already energized Bradley came out with even more energy and intensity to begin the eighth round. He continued to pressure a lethargic and listless Rios. Bradlely stayed committed to the plan which was to attack the body, move laterally, and throw two- or three-punch combos and get out.

Robert Garcia tries to revive Bam Bam Rios

Robert Garcia tries to revive Bam Bam Rios

Rios’ trainer, Robert Garcia, was no slouch in the corner either. With his fighter winning one round going into the ninth, Garcia, knowing his fighter was on his last legs, tried to give Rios a shot in the arm. “You’re disappointing everybody. You’re just f##$ing waiting. You’re doing nothing. Slow. If he hits you, you smile. That’s not winning rounds. Just because you can take a punch doesn’t win rounds.”

Tony Weekes Stops Bout

Tony Weekes Stops Bout

The beginning of the end started with :47 left in the ninth round. Bradley dug a left hook to Rios’ body that caused Rios to move back and suck wind. Bradley ripped a thunderous left-right hook combination to the body to which Rios sunk to his knees, gasping. Rios beat the count but was all but done. Bradley came over to Rios and landed a thudding right hook to the body, followed by an equally powerful left hook to the body. A flurry of punches by Bradley to the head and body, and Rios collapsed to the canvas causing Weekes to end the fight.

What???? How Ya Like Me Now?

What???? How Ya Like Me Now?

Bradley landed 88 body shots, and it was his first win by KO since November 2011. It was his first fight with Teddy Atlas who had only seven weeks to prepare him. Atlas banned music from being played in the gym during training, and disallowed cell phones as well. It was all business.

 

Rios was very emotional after the fight and announced his retirement. Rios had not fought in eight months, and the inactivity affected him. Rios came in at the 147 lb. limit, but ballooned up to 170 by fight time.

Who's Next?

Who’s Next?

Bradley’s marketability increased appreciably.  He can fight Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Kell Brook, or even Keith Thurman. But the big money would be in a rematch with Pacquiao, or fights at 154 against Canelo Alvarez (Bob Arum intimated this fight could happen) or Miguel Cotto. The match up that’s under the radar, however, is a fight against the quasi-retired Floyd Mayweather.  It would be huge and a dangerous fight for Mayweather.

With just one fight under their belts for the Bradley-Atlas tandem, last night’s bout makes boxing pundits and fans think about what the two might have accomplished if they paired ten years ago. But for now, Bradley is a perfect pupil for a hard, gruff, prickly trainer from the old school like Teddy Atlas. Bradley would have also flourished under one of the great trainers in the business now, James Ali Bashir.

Happy Trainer, Happy Fighter

Happy Trainer, Happy Fighter

Happy Trainer, Happy Fighter.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

 

 

 

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