Posted on 12/09/2010
WBC Super Lightweight title fight with champ Devon Alexander vs. Timothy Bradley is shaping up to be a real thriller. Wednesday’s press conference in New York was a fasincating study of boxing psychological warfare…
Tim Bradley: “…they want what I got. In the past, they been talking a lot of shit. Now it’s time. Now it’s time for you to step up and back up all that shit you been talking. They said I was a coward, I’m soft, that I won’t step up to the challenge…You’re running into The Desert Storm on January 29. You better bring, you better make damn sure, you bring everything into this fight. That’s all I’m gonna say.” (Bradley, with a hint of frustration, pushes/slaps the microphone towards Alexander’s side of the dais for emphasis.)
Devon Alexander: “…he says I want what he got. What do he got? (Bradley answers, #1.) I’m #1. I got more. I think I got more. I got the WBC title. I unified. If it weren’t for HBO he wouldn’t have fought me on January 29. If it weren’t for HBO he would have fought somebody else or gone south of the border for his next fight. HBO put this fight on. He said I’m not a big draw. He’s gonna get his first million-dollar payday from me. I’m no big draw. He’s scared. He’s been runnin. He’s been runnin since I won the WBC title. He didn’t want to fight before cuz he knows the skills I got. And I’m gonna prove it on January 29…On yer face [smiles].”
Then the faceoff was set up for the photographers and it was very interesting how the combatants spoke to each other. Alexander was in total calm while Bradley seemed agitated and tense. “You are nervous,” Alexander smiled and said to Bradley, who denied it. “You’re gonna lose,” firmly stated Alexander to his rival. The two continued to face each other and chattered away. Finally, Alexander joked, “We could make the ring right here now,” motioning with his hands imaginary ropes around them. “And we could fight right now.” Bradley, once again, didn’t really have any sharp comebacks to Alexander’s straight, direct jabs and comments. It was clear to my senses who has the mental edge and who is the superior-minded fighter.
I believe this psychological battle was a foreshadowing microcosm of the straight punches and jabs we’re going to see from Alexander in Detroit on January 29 which will dismantle Bradley in a convincing fashion.
It all reminded me of another press conference where the calm and collected total confidence of one gladiator totally unnerved and agitated the opponent during the press conference. It was in 1996, in Las Vegas, the first press conference for Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson.
The exact Holyfield quotes are taken from my book “Heavyweight Armageddon: The Tyson-Lewis Championship Battle.”
“Tyson might frighten you (the media) but he doesn’t scare me.. This is my game, my trade. I’ve been everywhere he has – except prison. You can’t just outbox him. You’ve got to be prepared to fight. The point is, to beat a guy like that, you’ve got to fight him to get his respect, and then box him. If he puts you in a corner, you have to fight. If you have space, then you box. You have to do both. And if a guy can’t fight, he’s not going to win. I’m ready for November 9th. I want to be champion of the world again…Everybody hypes Tyson up to be the man. We all know what fear is. But Tyson knows he’s going in with a guy who isn’t afraid of him. He knows I’ve been through a lot of adversity, same as him. But all big punchers are affected when they get hit. They’re used to doing the hitting. And I don’t think Tyson’s the sort of guy to get up when he goes down.”
At this point, an upset Tyson suddenly rose from his seat and shouted at Holyfield, “You got nothin coming on November 9th. Nothin! I’m gonna enjoy this fight. I can’t wait for November 9th.”
(Excerpt from my book “Heavyweight Armageddon: The Tyson-Lewis Championship Battle.”)
Clearly Holyfield’s supreme confidence got under the skin and angered Tyson, very similar, in some aspects, to what Alexander did on Wednesday in New York to Bradley.
Stay tuned for full, one-on-one interview with Devon Alexander…