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Bradley vs Rios fight preview: Breaking down Timothy Bradley vs Brandon Rios

Timothy Bradley vs Brandon Rios - who has the better offense? Defense? And how will the fight play out? Take a look in this Bloody Elbow fight preview.

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Saturday night, HBO Boxing plays host to an exciting fight as Timothy Bradley takes on Brandon Rios, live on HBO. Bloody Elbow will have live fight night coverage right here starting at 9:30 p.m. ET. Get ready for the fight with this Bradley vs. Rios fight preview, as we break down the skills of each fighter.

TIMOTHY BRADLEY (32-1-1; 12 KO) vs. BRANDON RIOS (33-2-1; 24 KO)


This is an interesting category for these two, as they bring quite different offensive games to the table. As those KO ratios indicate, Rios is the heavy-handed KO machine. He comes in with big shots, looking to put his opponent down and out, and more often than not, he succeeds. On the other side, Bradley's style is more technical, using more angles and an accumulation of punches to wear his opponents down and win the rounds. Though it is perhaps more accurate to say that WAS his style - after the massive controversy of the first Manny Pacquiao fight, Bradley has been more consciously aggressive, looking to engage in crowd-pleasing wars more than technical demonstrations. To be totally honest, I don't think it has served him all that well. He's 3-1-1 since that switch in styles, and not a single one of those wins is without some question over how deserved it was, with many feeling Bradley gets the judge's nod when it is not warranted. That does indeed mean he has a very judge-friendly style though. The end result is a close offensive match-up, but I have to give the very slight nod to Rios for his ability to end the fight.

Advantage: Rios


Rios is an emotional fighter who loves a good war. The quintessential Rios moment is from the first fight with Mike Alvarado where, after a brutal back and forth round, Rios sat in his corner smiling and telling trainer Robert Garcia "Me gusto". Garcia's response? "I know you do!" Rios loves a brawl, and he is more than willing to take a punch (or 10) to instigate that war, counting on his offense to get him out of it. As I said above, Bradley has taken steps down that path himself in recent years, resulting in him taking some big shots at times, particularly against Ruslan Provodnikov. But he still has the superior technical edge defensively - he just needs to use it.

Advantage: Bradley


It's been interesting to think more in-depth about this fight. When it was first announced, my instinct was Bradley all the way. But I don't know that it is quite so cut and dry. The Bradley who was undefeated heading into the first Pacquiao fight would have followed Mike Alvarado's pattern against Rios, using technique to outbox the brawler. But in recent fights, he's become more of a brawler. He's become more like, well, Brandon Rios. So if this does become brawler vs brawler, who takes it? Again, I'm inclined to say Bradley, but I have a suspicion this is the fight where his recklessness finally gets the best of him.

Prediction: Brandon Rios by late KO

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