Tim Bradley vs. Devon Alexander: Why Amateur Boxing Is Killing Boxing

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIJanuary 30, 2011

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 10:  Timothy Bradley (L) hits Junior Witter with a left jab during their WBC Light Welterweight fight on May 10, 2008 at Nottingham Ice Arena in Nottingham, England. (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
John Gichigi/Getty Images

I was reading an article by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports today and I was dumbfounded by the premise of the piece: "Bradley ready for Pacquiao, Mayweather."

That dude needs to stick to sports he understands.

Wetzel actually tried to argue that Timothy Bradley deserves a big fight against either Floyd Mayweather, Jr. or Manny Pacquiao. Puhleese!

Seriously, why does Bradley deserve anything like that?

Last night Don King and Gary Shaw had to paper the hall to get 5,000 or so fans to show up for a fight between Bradley and undefeated Devon Alexander in a Detroit suburb—and that was actually a big crowd to see a Bradley fight.

When he boxes at the Morongo Casino, near his hometown of Palm Springs, CA, he's lucky to get 2,000 people to show up—and even fewer people to actually pay.

Why does one of the top rated Junior Welterweights in the world draw so badly? I'll tell you why. His fights are unbearable to watch and Saturday's bout was no exception. 

Saturday night two undefeated fighters put on one of the worst fights of the year—not because the two boxers lack skill, but because they have boring styles and they don't ever try to win their bouts.

They work not to lose. 

The reason for this is quite obvious to me: Both men fought for years in the amateurs.

And amateur boxing stinks. 

Ever since amateur boxing changed their scoring rules in 1992, fighters have been rewarded for pitty pat punches and defensive fighting. That in turn has produced fighters that are not entertaining and are clearly killing the sport.

That's why fighters like Manny Pacquiao and even Ricky Hatton have done so well at the box office.

Clearly the two fighters are in a different stratosphere. Pacquaio is a Hall of Famer and Hatton is not, but Hatton put on entertaining fights, which in turn put fannies in the seats. 

A prime example was his fight with Floyd Mayweather.

Floyd probably would have been satisfied putting on another one of his snooze-inducing 12-round boxing clinics but Ricky was having none of it.

By pushing the action he forced Floyd to fight and what fans got was one of Money May's most entertaining performances of the last few years. 

The fact is, this is professional boxing and no one wants to see a glorified Golden Gloves bout for 12 rounds—which is what you get when you see fighters like Bradley and Alexander. 

Bradley should be counting his blessings that he will probably get to fight Amir Khan in the near future.

After Khan's entertaining match with Marco Maidana, the Englishman clearly doesn't need Bradley at all. He could fight stiffs for the next two years and make as much money as he would for fighting Bradley.

The real payday for Khan would be a rematch with Maidana. Lots of people would pay to see that one again.

Marco might not be as skilled as Bradley or Alexander but he comes to fight, and the Argentine's matches are always entertaining. 

That's probably because he wasn't groomed as an amateur for years like many American fighters. Like Pacquiao and Hatton before him, Maidana was groomed as a professional, and it shows. 

A lot of people have been critical of amateur fighting and it's rules over the years.

To many fans it isn't real boxing.

I won't go that far, but it sure isn't a good launching pad for a professional career in my mind.

And last night's snooze-inducing HBO fight was Exhibit A.