At the Pontiac Silverdome this Saturday one of my favorite fighters, Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, squares off in a battle against up and comer Devon Alexander “The Great.” On the line will be the WBO and WBC light welterweight titles, and perhaps more importantly, pride. Both fighters are undefeated and looking to stake their claim as ruler of the 140 lb division. The winner of this fight might be in line for a huge pay day against Amir Khan, or possibly even pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao. Pac Man’s team recently made it clear that Manny will no longer be moving up in weight, so any top contender in the 140-147 pound range is fair game. The winner of the Bradley-Alexander fight could land a mega PPV fight with either of the aforementioned pugilists, both of whom have huge followings which generally equates to glorious PPV numbers.
So how will this fight pan out and who appears to have the edge? Personally, I love Bradley’s style even though he probably doesn’t appeal to most casual boxing fans. Most casual fans of the sport only want to see guys with power who are capable of dropping their opponents in a crumpled heap on the canvas with one punch. If a poetic observer described this bout as a gun fight, Bradley probably wouldn’t even be bringing a knife to it; rather, a flyswatter. The man simply lacks power. Casual fight fans like to see Howitzers, not Super Soakers.
But what Bradley lacks in power he makes up for with his throwback style and sheer determination. His ring generalship is excellent and he possesses all the intangibles you want to see in a true champion. He’s technically sound, fast as lightning, has an impressive ring IQ, and punches effectively in combinations. Bradley’s chin is sturdy but not granite. In his last fight against Kendall Holt he was dropped twice, but neither knockdown had him severely hurt or wobbly. Both were basically flash knockdowns where he was caught a little off balance and got hit with a flush shot from a guy with a ton of power. He clearly out boxed Holt throughout the fight and won a decisive unanimous decision.
Devon Alexander’s style presents such a stark contrast to Bradley’s which is what should make this a very entertaining fight. Alexander has what casual fight fans adore: power and chin. His back has never touched the canvas and he has solid power in both hands. He is undefeated, although he was the recipient of a somewhat lucky decision in his last fight. Alexander struggled to adapt to a game Andriy Kotelnik but received a hometown decision victory in August of 2010. His struggles in that fight are the main reason why I think he’ll have his hands full against Timothy Bradley.
Bradley is extremely versatile while Alexander is more of a one trick pony. Bradley can mix it up from the outside and the inside even though he’s only about 5’6″. He is smart enough to adapt to his opponents and is tough as nails. Bradley has the edge in speed, technique, experience, mental and physical toughness, ring generalship, and pretty much any intangible you can think of. Alexander has the edge in power and chin only.
From a gambling perspective, I like my man Desert Storm to win by decision. I would advocate betting on the Over for the Over/Under Round Prop option, but there is some very heavy juice you must lay on the Over so it’s not worth it. Bradley doesn’t have the power to knock out Alexander, so unless Alexander quits on his stool or suffers a fluke cut above his eye it looks like this one is destined for the cards. Alexander’s best chance to win this bout is via KO, but given the fact that Bradley has already stood up to some of the biggest punchers in the division I don’t foresee Desert Storm succumbing to the power of Alexander.
I guess we shall find out this Saturday night on HBO when these 2 undefeated warriors clash in “the Mitten.”