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Tim Bradley Won Speed Battle With Devon Alexander

BY David A. Avila ON February 01, 2011
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Bradley_with_WBO_belt_1_by_Kat_smallTimothy Bradley wasn’t the only reason Devon Alexander lost, it was the voices around him including many in the media who cited the St. Louis boxer as the faster of the two.

Blame the media for Alexander’s loss. They mentioned it so often that Alexander actually believed it.

“Desert Storm” Bradley swept through Alexander’s defense and so-called superior speed with ease in winning the battle between undefeated junior welterweights and taking his WBC belt back.

“I was faster,” exhorted Bradley by telephone immediately following the end of the fight. “I’m not trying to brag, but I’m faster and my strength is my strength.”

Before the fight and even during the initial rounds the HBO television crew including famed trainer Emanuel Steward insisted Alexander was the faster fighter. By round three it was obvious that Bradley had quicker hands, quicker feet and the willingness to match his speed and power against Alexander the Great.

Speed isn’t the most important factor in boxing but it sure helps. When speedy Floyd Mayweather Jr. was set to fight against the equally speedy Zab Judah in 2006, the question was posed: how to beat a speedy fighter?

“Timing beats speed,” said Mayweather who proceeded to conquer Judah when they met.

Of course speed gives many boxers an advantage but one distinct disadvantage is when a fighter walks into a fight thinking he’s the quicker fighter and suddenly is overcome by a blitz of punches from all angles.

Bradley surprised Alexander with superior hand speed and foot speed just as he did against Britain’s Junior Witter back in 2008. On that day too Witter was supposedly faster fighter. Then he got dropped and realized he was not.

Judging speed in a boxer is not always easy. Probably the best way to determine the faster boxer is matching them together. After a few rounds of exchanges the truly faster fighter will pull ahead and land more. It happened in Bradley’s win.

A number of possibilities await Bradley in the talent rich junior welterweight division. There’s current IBF titleholder Amir Khan who not only has speed to match Bradley but long arms too. Others include Argentina’s duo of bombers, Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse, who aren’t as fast but punch like they have anvils in their gloves.

“I’ll fight whoever the fans want me to fight,” Bradley says.

Fastest boxers today

A number of elite fighters stand alone in the speed category. One fighter who’s kept the radar gun humming for more than a decade has been Mayweather. Together with his superb defense and masterful boxing technique Mayweather has remained unbeaten since turning professional in 1996.

Andre Berto has emerged as another of the quicker pugilists on the scene. The welterweight hasn’t been tested on the elite level but does exhibit wonderful hand and foot speed. His one punch knockout of Mexico’s Freddy Hernandez exemplified blinding quickness.

Nonito Donaire, a bantamweight, has shown top notch speed throughout his career. The one-punch knockout of Vic Darchinyan was an example of the faster boxer beating the other to the punch. It ended brutally and with sudden crushing finality.

Manny Pacquiao has also used speed to climb all the way from the 112-pound flyweight division to the 154-pound junior middleweight division. A sturdy chin also helped, but his pure speed enabled him to get out of trouble on the double against the bigger bangers.

Speed is a wonderful thing if you know how to use it. Last weekend, Bradley finally showed he’s one of the fastest guns in the west or east.

Fights on television


Fri. ESPN2, 6 p.m., Sergio Mora (22-1-2) vs. Bryan Vera (17-5).

Fri. Showtime, 11 p.m., Lateef  Kayode ( 15-0) vs. Nicholas Iannuzzi ( 16-1).

Sat. pay-per-view, 7 p.m., UFC Anderson Silva (27-4) vs. Vitor Belfort (19-8).

Sat. Fox Sports, 8 p.m., Francisco Sierra (23-3) vs. Dyah Davis (18-2).

Comment on this article

Radam G says:

According to the punch count, Devon threw more punches and landed more. Bradley landed the hardest [legal] punches and the largest and hardest "inadvertent punches" with his mahagony-hue-colored dome. IMO, he has neither faster hands nor feet than Devon. Tim was just simply an automagical master in that squared jungle on the night in question. He punked Devon's pimpin' speed with dat "OOPS, STRAIGHT ta your eyelids wif da DOME BLAST! KaBOOM! WACKA! WACKA! SUCKA! Ya bleedin!' And ya hypnotized by da wavin' and weavin' of da best DOME BLAST in da game." Devon was psyched out like muthachump. And got no luv from the ref, so ole Timmy's wreckin' and evil peckin' dome wreak havoc through the neighborhood of Devon's mug without da interference of a single speedbump. TB adriotly whipped DA mentally and won the ref, who should've been a speedbump against that da Bradley dome blast.

Two or three headbutts are inadvertent. Five, six, seven, eight, nine are using tricks of the trade in the way that ex-middleweight champ Vito Antuofermo use to use them to get down. [He punked tons of speed demons and whupped their arses with head wackin' and sackin.'] TB put his huge head up in DA's eyesight and DA became like a deer staring at oncoming headlights. DA FROZE like a pilar of salt. The fright of the DOME BLAST is what gives the optical illusion of TB being the faster of foot and hand over DA. An oldschool couple of "inadvertent elbows" upside Bradley's dome and a few forearm in his throat would have magically halted da workin' of da dome. I give TB mad credit for mental speed and an A+ for working those tricks of the trade, but maybe a C- for physical speed.

Da hurt bitnezz is full of optical illusions and is the "theatre of the unexpected" drama. Time doesn't beat speed. Speed thrown correctly, in volumes and directly wins always. Pops Joy May is full of his own jive. You can time one or two bees coming from the hive. But dat swarm would cause a tyming arse fatality. Go to Youtube and holla at the sighting of the seasoned Floyd Mayweather Sr tyming a green speed demon Sugar Ray Leonard. Joy's timing was only effective for SRL's single punches. But whenever SRL threw three, four, five, six punches, he swarm stung Joy's arse. IMHO Joy fears that worse would have to his seed -- Money May. Holla!

Editor Mike says:

When you watch and rewatch and slo mo, do you guys really see Bradley deliberately aiming that head??

brownsugar says:

I beg to differ with you RG. like a voice crying out in the wilderness screaming to anyone who'll listen that the glass is really half-full. .....when I watched the replay of the end of the fight... Devon grabs his right eye, the one that was already bleeding. Then after the ref and doc focus on the left eye,.. the one that got butted... Alexander starts looking for sympathy on the left side of his face. I think Devon was hurt,.. but he also looked like he had enough. It's a good thing thing they've sewn up the thumbs on boxing gloves,.. because if you've ever been thumbed in the eye then you'll truly know the meaning of real pain......But the way I see it..... Bradley may have a balance issue... but not an intentional butting issue....Bradley is getting more accurate every fight... also he seems to be gaining speed and developing a little more defense... As Ugly as the fight was...Bradley is still showing some growth. and maturity..If he beat Maidanna and comes out relatively unschathed (I mean under his own power)....I'd say he's on his way to a high place in the boxing world...GBP and ARum are already trying to get into his good graces as his promotional contract with Shaw winds down in May.....

I'd like to debate your Pac vs Mayweather scenario because I don't thing it would go like that...The Birds and the Bees won't dictate what'd happen in that fight....but I'd just be wasting key strokes...because it seems that Mayweather is gradually emersing himself into the phospherescent glow of tinsel town. in a bid to climb the ranks of the entertainment worlds social elite and eventually into our living rooms with his own production company, bolstered by Fiddy Cent (Curtis Jackson) as his lucrative and more experienced partner. If Mayweather gains acceptance in the world of entertainment he'll never come back to boxing again... every fighter whose gone Hollywood has never come back to the Sweet Science.... and those that Try are never the same again... from Jack Dempsey to Jack Palance to Roy Jones to Tarver and even Lennox Lewis(even Marving Hagler grew fat and content making Spagetti Westerns in Italy after the leonard loss). .....there's a ton of recent video showing Mayweather chumming it up with some of the hollywood powerbrokers and big name movers and shakers of the industry(at least those who market African American entertainment)... it's more likely to see Ms Jackson star in a Mayweather Movie before we see floyd back in the ring Starring with Manny anytime soon. Jacky Chan broke his back for years doing hard stunts in his wildly entertaining action flicks and all he really wanted was to be was a romantic comedy star. similarly .....If Floyd finds even the slightest bit of success behind the camera,.. you can forget about ever seeing him back in the ring.

Isaiah says:

Where was the ref in the Bradley/Alexander fight and why is Bradley never so much as warned when he keeps on landing those headbutts? It happens far to often to be an accident. Now, with that being said, Bradley did kick Alexander's butt. Devon got Tim in some kind of headlock at some desperate point in the fight and again, I was wondering where the ref was. Apperently it seems to be okay at points to do whatever you want. All in all though, besides those stupid headbutts, Bradley put his opponent to shame and Devon just quit like a punk. He didn't look that badly hurt to me. At the most, the ref could have given him the full 5 minutes to rest if the rules were in play. I was highly dissapointed with Devon's quit and no grit nonsense. I was hoping for so much more. Anyway, as good as Bradley is, if he knows what's good for him, he'll stay at 140. Mayweather or Pacquiao would expose him in a heartbeat. Best for Bradley to stay where he can make noise. Shane Mosley would still knock Tim out. I can't hardly imagine the beatdown the Pacman would give Tim. No, time for Tim to go after Amir Khan. @brownsugar. Floyd Mayweather is a terrified chump who won't be in the same room with Manny Pacquiao. Since Floyd has been pretending to be the greatest of all time for years so well that he's fooled himself, maybe Floyd would make a good actor. His "fights" which seem to be about as rare nowadays as seeing Haley's comet are the definition of BORING, so maybe Floyd will finally find a way to entertain the public via a movie flick, where he can pretend to be brave and have no fear to actually have to proof it.

Radam G says:

In magic no one could catch the tricks of Houdini. In boxing, no one could catch the tricks of Bundini. The hands are faster the eyes. Intentions are faster thoughts. Trust me or don't. I GUARANTEE you that Bradley will not "inadvertently" headbutt any fighter more than three times if the proper oldschool referee is in that squared jungle. [Kenny Bayless, Tony Weeks, Lawrence Cole, Robert Byrd, Eddie Cotton, Steven Stogster and Pat Russel, just to name a few, would eat Bradley's lunch. They'd disqualify dat smart head-using cookie. He fools those not in the know. I'm reminded of how that Polish heavyweight kept inadvertently low punching Riddick Bowe. The Polish cat -- I don't recall his name right now -- was disqualified.] Bradley has benefitted from bad refereeing, and of course with his great tricks of the trade in making intentional butts appear to be inadvertent and his corner "inadvertently" applying a stinging substance on his dome. Devon wasn't faking jack. One can watch something a million times, but if he doesn't know how the trick is done, he won't ever catch it -- the optical illusion. I guess that I'm the only poster/reader here who also saw Timmy getting away with excessive rabbit punching too. He is one slicky, tricky cat. He could pull a Mike Tyson and bite off an ear and still sail away. Ain't hating! Just hollering da realiteee!

I can make a hanky disappear all day and night. I can levitate 24/7/365 and 366 on the light year. I can turn five-dollar bills into 10,000-Filipino-peso bills. I can pull a rabbit out of a hat. I can turn a five-cent coin into five flying-away doves. I can tie some rags together and sling 'em out and as an umbrella. I can throw a quilt on a standing half naked lady and make her disappear. I can take your wallet out of your pocket without you realizing it, and switch with it Editor Mike's and his with yours while both of you guys' watches would end up on my wrist and your iPhones in my back pockets. It all about the knowledge of how. Optical illusions -- not knowing the knowledge of how -- are BIG TIME in boxing. Fans and fanfaronades love their heroes and zeroes and cannot see the light for the glare. Bradley intentionally uses his heads, just as B-Hop and Holy do. Money May and Magic Malignaggi intentional use their elbows and forearms. And yes, B-Sug. It doesn't matter that the thumb is glued to the glove, boxers still manage to use the thumb-in-da-eye trick of the trade just like back in the day. Boxers also know how to use the knee against an opponent who is fighting stiff legged -- not bending his knees. Tricks of the trade one doesn't see if he doesn't know how the magic is done. Holla!

the Roast says:

No way will I ever watch that fight again. Slow mo, fast mo, no kind of mo. I am trying to erase it from my memory.

amayseng says:

i am with the roast...

i cant watch it again either, and how did compubox find that many punches landing?

i sure didnt...

i saw maybe 6 clean shots land all fight. im sure i am wrong.

also, alex should have gotten 5 mins to recover from the butt

he had the wrong gameplan and all his holding resulted in being in position to be butted

a thousand times

Radam G says:

I saw four inadvertent head butts, but I also saw nine tricks-of-the-trade headbutts by Timmy Bradley. In layman's term, TB intentionally headbutted Devon Alexander nine illegal times. If you are not "the Roast" or "amayseng," holla at a rewatch and get ya' slo mo and count on. Excessive inadvertent headbutts are no different from excessive inadverent low blows, excessive inadverent rabbit punching, excessive inadverent falling down or excessive inadverent stalling by holding. The referee is supposed to take charge and start giving cautions, hard warnings and then start taking off points. Bradley is a smooth operator with his ability to get away with tricks of the trade headbutts and rabbit punches. He has sliced and diced his last seven opponents with headbutts and rabbit punches. The "I'm fair, but I'm firm" ref would DQ dat sucka. As Zab Judah said, "The game is called boxing not bowling with a big-a** head." Time to most on. This is my last post on this Headbuttgate fiasco. Holla!

The Voicebox says:

I usually don't agree with your rambling and verbose ways, Radam, but you've got this one pegged right on the money. There's nothing accidental about Timmy's headbutts. That being said, there's an old saying that "If the ref don't see it, it's legal." As far as I'm concerned, the result of that fight was entirely on Garza's shoulders. He didn't take control of the bout by issuing warnings or docking points from either fighter for excessive holding or headbutts. Nothing ruins a fight faster than over officiating a bout (Cortez, I'm looking at you with your arbitrary point deduction during Maidana-Kahn) or a premature stoppage, but the rules are there for a reason and they need to be enforced. The difference is that you can't win a fight by clinching, where as headbutting causes damage to an opponent and shakes his confidence, creating openings. That's what I like about Tim Bradley; he uses the right tool for the job and he's got a tool box that continues to grow. He'll hit you with the kitchen sink if you let him. As for his next opponent, I'd like to see him take on Kahn, Maidana, Ortiz, Berto, or Marquez. It'd be even better if he fought them all within the next year or so. Then and only then do I think he'd be ready for the Mayweather or Pacquiao, because otherwise, the former would embarrass him with a lopsided decision and the latter would dish out a hellacious late round knockout. With seasoning, though, I think Bradley could develop into a pound-for-pound badass with serious aspirations at the top spot. Boxing rewards skills over anything else, and with his combination of determination and conditioning, Bradley could replace the aging Bernard Hopkins as the lunch-pail brawling master. That fight this weekend might have sucked, but I'll be following Bradley from here on out.

crottyruh says:

America is clearly in dire need of a new boxing hero. Not only did Bradley allowed to win albeit his obvious dirty tactics, some people even saw it as a "skill".

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