Tim Bradley's Trainer: Devon Alexander Won't Go 10 rounds
DETROIT-- An intense and seemingly agitated WBO champion Tim Bradley walked forward, flexed his muscles, and angrily screamed out his vow to "Bring the pain" after weighing in at a remarkably chisled, 139.5 pounds compared to the junior welterweight limit of 140 of his relatively calm opponent, southpaw WBC titlist Devon Alexander, at Friday's weigh-in that was conducted at the Pontiac Silverdome, in Pontiac Mich. -- site of Saturday night's HBO televised unification bout.
"I do think that it's too early for Devon, and you're going to see why on Saturday night after I destroy Devon Alexander. You're going to see why it's too early for him. He's only 23 years old," said Bradley.
"He's a great fighter, but I'm seasoned. I'm 27 years old. It's my time," said Bradley. "It's my destiny. I'm telling you. I'm going to win on Saturday night, without a doubt in my mind."
Sporting a ripped and ready six-pack that glistened against the bright lights and flashing cameras of the mass of media members, Bradley (26-0, 11 knockouts) then watched Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs) step off of the scale and flash a bulbous right biceps pose that was equally impressive.
"I think that Tim Bradley's really mad, and I don't know what's wrong with him. I'm just happy to be here and I know that I'm 120 percent ready," said Alexander. "I'm just going to follow the game plan and do what I normally do, and do what I know to do best, which is to use my hand speed and all of sudden it's going to be over."
Alexander is known for a brilliant uppercut that led to an eighth-round knockout of then-IBF champion Juan Urango, who was stopped for the first time in his career.
Promoted by Don King, Alexander was recently stripped of his IBF crown for facing Bradley instead of that IBF's designated No. 1 contender, Kaizer Mabuza (23-6-3, 14 KOs), of South Africa, who, instead, will fight on March 5 for that group's vacant crown against former titlist Zab Judah (40-6, 27 KOs).
Alexander, however, said that an uppercut could be the key against Bradley, even as his rival believes that he will "get caught" if he tries to use it.
"I'm going to be able to switch it up. If he's got a game plan for the uppercut like he says, then I'm going to come with something else. We've got an A, a B and a C game plan. So we're ready to rock and roll," said Alexander. "I believe that I have way more speed than him, and I definitely think that I have more power than him, so you guys are going to see that on Saturday night."
Alexander's trainer, Kevin Cunningham, said that he believes Bradley to be uncharacteristically unnerved for the clash, which Cunningham said Bradley was "forced into taking."
Until resolving an issue with the WBC, Bradley had refused to pay the organization's sanctioning fee against Alexander, this, stemming from a grudge that he has held since April of 2009, when the WBC stripped Bradley of the crown he had earned with a May, 2008 split-decision over Junior Witter.
Earlier in the month of April of 2009, Bradley, who is promoted by Gary Shaw, had twice gotten off of the canvas to dethrone Kendall Holt (25-4, 13 KOs) as WBO champ. Ironically, Bradley was stripped of the WBC title because he refused to face Alexander prior to the organization's mandated deadline.
"Tim Bradley has been pissed off since the announcement of this fight, so, you know, we want to keep him pissed off," said Cunningham. "I think that he feels that this was a fight that he was forced into taking. I think that he's just uncomfortable with this whole situation and Devon is relaxed, calm and ready to go."
Bradley's trainer, Joel Diaz, disagreed.
"I don't know how they feel that Tim was forced into this fight. I mean, he's been asking for it for a long time," said Diaz. "That's a surprise to me. Tim Bradley has been calling out Devon Alexander for about a year, and now, he's been forced into this fight?"
Cunningham contends that the slightly taller Alexander must maintain his poised confidence throughout the fight to be successful.
"Devon's got to go out and dictate the tempo. Devon has got to dictate the pace of the fight and just be the man," said Cunningham. "He's got to be in control and be first and second. He's got to get off first and last and go out and dominate."
Diaz, however, promised that Bradley is focused and ready for the fight, guaranteeing that the bout "will not go past 10 rounds," and saying that it will end in a knockout in Bradley's favor.
"The only thing that I do know is that my fighter is 100 percent ready to fight, and he could fight today if possible. We brought every single artiliary with us, and this is war. I guarantee you that this fight will not go the distance. I can tell you that," said Diaz.
"We're going to start out very careful in the early rounds, because we know that he's fast and that he's got slick movement. But we are sure going to be smart and careful and break him down and adjust round-by-round," said Diaz. "And then, I'm going to send him in to end it and to attack. I don't want him to get reckless. The key is to be smart with a lot of footwork. But I guarantee you that it will not go past 10 rounds."
Cunningham won the coin flip at the weigh-in's outset, electing to have Alexander walk into the Pontiac Silverdome's arena second on Saturday night, but to be introduced first prior to the start of the action. For Bradley, obviously, it will be vice versa.
"We wanted to come out last and they wanted to come out last and they wanted to be announced last also, so they came up with a coin flip. So we were like, 'You can get announced first, but want to come out second.' They said, 'no, no, no, we'll flip for it,'" said Cunningham.
"So then I said, 'Okay.' So I called it, and I called heads and won," . Then I said, 'the winner of this coin toss is just an indication of things to come on Saturday night,'" said Cunningham. "I'll let them have the introduction, and we'll walk in last. The star of the show walks last. That was important to us. That's all that we were concerned about."
Actually, Cunningham had also expressed concern as a result of his assertion that Bradley is prone to head-butting opponents.
"I'm concerned about Tim Bradley's history of head-butts. I think that his last six opponents have been cut due to Tim Bradley's head-butting," said Cunningham. "I'm going to have a serious conversation with the referee [Frank Garza] prior to the fight, and, hopefully, we won't have any problems with that."
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