Timothy Bradley spent some time breaking down his analysis of Artur Beterbiev’s knockout win over Joe Smith Jr. over the weekend, sharing his perspective on some things Beterbiev does really well that often goes overlooked. Bradley also breaks down a prospective match between Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol, and even points out what Canelo Alvarez has to improve on to get his situation back in order. Check out some excerpts of what Bradley had to say below.
Bradley on Beterbiev’s performance over Smith
“One thing is that, a lot of people don’t realize is that he uses a lot of misdirection. He didn’t have to do that today. He was just taking the advantage of the fact that he had an inexperienced guy in there, as far as skills. Go back and watch, little small subtle movements to get your guard out of position. So if you got the high guard and he needs to move it, he’ll do little feints and come up and attack you when he sees the openings.
“So that’s one thing that he does that nobody understands or give him credit for. So he’s very cerebral inside of there, man, very creative. If you see him step back and drop his hands, he’s looking to lure you in — that means he’s looking to box. So he’s using a low guard to force you to come in and hit him so that he can set up his counters over the top, or punch while you’re punching in between shots. He’s learned that aspect of the game as well.
“And his jab, the way he shoots his jab, he steps through his opponent. Now, sometimes he might misjudge the distance and he’ll lunge in and lunge forward — he does, no one’s perfect. But when he lunges in it’s so fast and so rapid he bumps the guy off balance. Then when he gets in the inside, he’s mauling you on the inside, gets control, then when he’s punching he’s not loading up...just short, quick, accurate shots in the inside. Tough to deal with because you don’t have a guy that’s loading up, it’s really hard to see those shots coming, bro.
“Then I hear ‘he squares up’ — yeah, he does square up. He’s cornering you, that’s what he’s doing. He understands exactly what he’s doing.”
On how he views a Betervbiev-Bivol matchup
“I don’t know. I haven’t looked at Bivol. I know what Bivol can do but I haven’t seen the holes and I got to see where Bivol is weak where Beterbiev can take advantage of him and vice versa. So I’m looking for weaknesses by both guys, and then I’m looking for their strengths to see, okay, which one can do it, or knows how to do it.
“The problem (for Beterbiev) is that Bivol has great feet, and then he stays close enough to be able to counter you too. So that’s the difference, man. You got to be able to keep that guy honest. And Bivol won’t throw with power, he’ll maintain his distance just as he did with Canelo, and that’s what you got to do. You get a guy defensive, especially a guy like Beterbiev, and he uses that high guard, and if you can bring that pelvis forward, you got him (to the body).”
On if he can see a scenario where Canelo is able to beat Beterbiev
“Canelo got to fight GGG. That’s who he got to fight. So I’m expecting a better Canelo this time around. I’m pretty sure he learned this time around, okay, your two little strategies that you normally use, that didn’t work against Bivol. It didn’t work. Yeah, that walk you down, high guard, entice you, beat you on the shoulder — that shit didn’t work. And then the stay on the ropes, play rope-a-dope, and try to bait you in so he can land a big shot — that ain’t work. Canelo got to get back moving his feet. He got to get back on the bike, moving here, moving there, subtle movement, bro. He got to get back to his craft, he got too comfortable knocking guys out.”