By: Marcus Washington
Fighters: Tim Bradley Jr. (32-1-1) vs Brandon Rios (33-2-1)
Date: November 7th, 2015
Where: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
On Saturday night, Tim Bradley Jr. and Brandon Rios face off in what both could define as a career saving fight. Bradley Jr. has impressive wins over Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez and a disputed win over Manny Pacquiao. This will be Bradley’s first fight since he switched trainers from Joel Diaz to Teddy Atlas.
Rios’ resume isn’t quite as impressive, but he won two out of three fights in his brutal trilogy with Mike Alvardo. Look for Rios to try to turn up the action and fight Bradley in a “phone booth”.
Tim Bradley Jr. Wins If: Bradley Jr. wins if he uses a similar game plan he used against Marquez. Bradley Jr. can use his movement to his advantage, while still staying busy. In the Marquez fight, he threw 562 punches to Marquez’ 455 and outlanded him 168 to 115. A similar game plan would easily defeat Rios.
Bradley Jr’s problems have arisen when he’s decided to stand in front of his opponent and exchange power punches. Yes, that makes for a more entertaining fight, but it doesn’t work to his advantage. Pacquiao is known for his exciting style and he even used the ring, and worked in and out when he fought Rios.
Brandon Rios Wins If: Rios will need help from Bradley Jr. if he wants to win the fight. Bradley Jr. almost gifted Provodnikov an upset victory by standing in the pocket and exchanging power punches with the Russian. Rios will need Bradley Jr. to fight with the same bravado to give him an opportunity to land power punches behind the jab.
Rios can’t have a repeat performance of the Pacquiao fight, where he failed to cut off the ring allowing Pacquiao to control the pace and the tenor of the fight. Bradley Jr. has the ability to do that same, so it’s imperative for Rios to make this into an alley fight.
Prediction: My prediction is Bradley Jr. by decision. Facing a tough opponent like Rios will not give Bradley Jr. favorable odds for a knockout or stoppage.
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