Julio Cesar Chavez Jr said that in the buildup to his rematch with Brian Vera that he was reinventing himself both proffesionally and personally. Gone were the old bad habits, the lax training, the poor diet, the smoking of questionable substances. In were discipline and control.
And from the way hes started boxing this bout, he wasn’t just reinventing his life, he was reinventing his style.
The ability to adapt is often an underrated talent for a boxer to have. As fans we tend to eulogise about the boxers who can do one thing brilliantly… be it power punching, grinding inside work, stick-and-move boxing or counter punching. In contrast we are generally a bit more dismissive of those who can do everything well but nothing brilliantly. That’s not necessarily deliberate; it’s simply harder for them to stand out.
Timothy Bradley showed exactly how effective adaptability can be tonight as he outpointed the consummate counter-puncher in Juan Manuel Marquez in a bout that lacked the outright thrills of the last bouts for each of the pair but was in it’s own way thrilling, a tense chess match of high level technical boxing from two masters. The judges scores of 115-113 and 116-112 Bradley, 113-115 Marquez were a little narrow for my taste (I had it closer to 116-112 Bradley) but I understand why they were narrow.
In a previous post I looked at the main event of this weekend’s bout between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez but it’s worth remembering that there’s actually a relatively decent undercard (something that despite their many sins Top Rank have a history of doing) with some intriguing bouts.