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article imageOp-Ed: Boxing Bradley vs Alexander the hype and the truth

By William Charles Baker     Feb 1, 2011 in Sports
Pontiac - We were supposed to witness one of the greatest light welterweight fights of all time when Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander clashed this past Saturday. Instead we saw the difference between elite fighters and elite hype about fighters.
The KansasCityStar Reports: “There in the Silverdome-pocked city of Pontiac, a fight prematurely branded as a "classic in the making" wound up far too similar to the run-of-the-mill dreck available every weekend in a local ballroom. Over nine-plus rounds of inglorious combat between America's two best 140- pounders, few things were proven more certainly than 1) TV's ability to make an empty lot look full; 2) Don King's unchallenged status as the game's most egregious promoter; and 3) Amir Khan's emergence as the genuine man to beat in the division between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.”
So as they would say in the old neighborhood sometimes you have to be careful what you pray for. If you sat down with a beer and maybe something a little stronger the bottle was probably empty before the fight was over. Even in an altered state of mind it would be hard to appreciate the sight of the “Desert Storm” Tim Bradley pursuing the great Alexander around the ring. Neither looking like the inside of a paper bag would be anything but a problem for their punching power.
Even the vaunted ring announcer Jim Lampley could not save this one. Hard as he tried following close on the heels of the ready to rumble match MC and public address aficionado Michael Buffer, Lampley was adrift on a sea of trouble. The pre fight talk about numbers of reporters and trying to make it sound like the real desert storm of a few years ago did not work.
Bradley and Alexander make Khan and Maidana look like the true class of the division. They are the elite combatants regardless that they are not so called “American” fighters. Nobody cares but perhaps a census taker who needs to justify something for more funding. It was little more than a sparring session with a head thrown into the punch count.
The DetroitFreePress reports: “As Super Fights go, it wasn't close. It wasn't Leonard-Hearns, Hagler-Hearns or Ali-Frazier. What was expected to be a sizzler at the Silverdome on Saturday night fell short of that. Devon Alexander-Timothy Bradley will be remembered more for head butts than head shots”
What were we supposed to expect from this fight? A knockout or a clinic of boxing skills by two nice guys that could do little more than smile and posture even in the Max Kellerman so called face off on HBO in street clothes across a table. Without a doubt Kevin Cunningham, Alexander’s trainer stole the show. His trash talking on Alexander’s behalf was the only fresh air in the room.
The point being that this fight needed something before it got started and maybe the Michael Buffer catch all of ready to rumble was not enough. Just cause you call it a face off or 24/7 if you do not have Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Freddie Roach, Roger Mayweather and so on among the troupe of performers then you have what we got, boredom. No goose bumps. Flat and knowing after awhile that it was not going to be a knockout but a marathon and there were many miles to go.
In the middle of the last string of Pacquiao fights or triple beat down of Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito we have the spectacle of what might have been the last few years had not Pacquiao come along. Good fighters like Bradley and Alexander in the apprentice stages of their careers. Not yet schooled in how to create and keep the hype going by being with an organization that spares no expense in doing just that. The two of them could learn a lot over the next few years if they fall out of the Manny Pacquiao marching band and wait for the next wave of champions to come along. There should be room for them then and hopefully they will have adjusted their skills to that level.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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