Is Timothy Bradley the 3rd best fighter in the world?
Fresh off split decision victory over Mexican legend and four division champion Juan Manuel Marquez 55-7-1 (40 KOs), Bradley firmly re-established himself as one of boxing’s top prize fighters.
Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t stop him from winning. He’s undefeated in 31 bouts, 31-0 (12 KO’s) and keeps on racking up the victories.
Although he has not garnered the respect from much of the media and many casual fans, he is finally starting to gain some recognition at least from “The Ring.”
The “Bible of Boxing” finally put Bradley in the Top Five Pound for Pound Rankings at No. 3 behind reigning super middleweight ruler Andre Ward 26–0 (14 KO) and long-time P4P kingpin Floyd Mayweather 45-0 (26 KO’s).
Jumping ahead of heavyweight monarch Wladimir Klitschko 61-3-0 (51 KOs), lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez 51-2-2 (28 KOs), multiple division titlist and rising star Adrien Broner 27-0-0 (22 KOs) and finally shooting past Marquez and Manny Pacquiao.
Many people may question, is Bradley rightfully rated as the third best fighter in the world?
Some detractors may point out Bradley’s lack of punching power, or non-crowd pleasing style. Fair enough. We all have certain styles of fighting that we like.
Some people prefer the “Sweet Science,” good lateral movement, counter-punching, defensive wizardry. Others may prefer in your face pressure, brawling, mauling, non-stop punching power and aggression. The diversity within the sport and the combination of contrasting styles is what makes boxing great.
For the Bradley detractors who like to bring up his lack of punching power, they make a valid point. 12 knockouts in 31 professional fights is not all that impressive from a power punching standpoint. The question I pose is, isn’t it more impressive for a fighter like Bradley who lacks punching power, to possess the kind of resume he has, achieving all his victories through hard work, heart and skill?
He lacks power, but defeated the likes of Marquez, Pacquiao, Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander, Kendall Holt, Joel Casamayor, Nate Campbell, Ruslan Provodnikov, Junior Witter and an undefeated Luis Carlos Abregu.
It’s easy to pick apart someone’s resume and criticize. Casamayor was obviously past his prime as was Nate Campbell. Abregu may not have the best resume out there but he is a solid fighter win his only defeat coming from Bradley.
Many people of course like to say Pacquiao was robbed of a decision against Bradley. Everyone has their opinion of the fight, at the end of the day, Bradley outworked Pacquiao and whether he deserved the victory or not was left up to the judges. Can’t blame Bradley for his effort. Especially considering he injured his feet during the bout and fought most of the fight noticeably wounded.
Some people may point out Marquez was showing the effects of old age in his fight against Bradley. And honestly, that’s a fair assessment to make. At age 40, Marquez is getting up there and his reflexes are slowing down.
But to be fair, Marquez showed signs of age and decline way before his fight against Bradley. He looked his age when he fought Pacquiao for the third and fourth time. But that did not stop Marquez from knocking Pacquiao out cold in their fourth encounter.
Bradley arguably performed better against Marquez than Pacquiao ever did and he had four attempts.
Many people are influenced by the negative commentary from HBO analysts. Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley have commented on his fights, leaving negative remarks that can sway the common fan who may not completely understand what is actually going on inside the ring.
As shown in all of his fights, especially in his fight against Provodnikov who even admitted on HBO’s “Face-Off” that Bradley beat him, the warrior from Palm Springs fights with tremendous heart.
He captured world titles in multiple divisions, has established himself as an elite fighter over the past five years and defeated top tier opposition.
It’s hard to argue anyone else aside from Mayweather and Ward being ranked higher than Bradley. He already beat Marquez and Pacquiao within the last couple years.
Sergio Martinez is a great champion, but hasn’t looked good recently and arguably won a hometown based decision in his last fight against Martin Murray that took place in Argentina.
Wladimir Klitschko dominates his opposition, something he shouldn’t be penalized for, but has he done anything recently more impressive than Bradley? Remember, Marquez was ranked No.3 P4P wise when Bradley beat him and Pacquiao was ranked either No. 1 or 2 when he met defeat against Bradley.
The Ring’s Criteria:
RATINGS POLICY The criteria by which THE RING rates fighters is as follows (in order of importance): 1. Results. This is the most objective criterion and takes precedence over all others. 2. Performance. How a fighter performs in a victory or defeat can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings. 3. Track record: A fighter’s accomplishments in the recent past can be a factor to determine his place in the ratings. That includes quality of opposition.
Based on the criteria, it appears “The Ring” finally got the P4P rankings right with Timothy Bradley sitting at No. 3 behind Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather who occupies the No. 1 spot.