ESPN commentator Tim Bradley maintains that last Friday’s win for WBC super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez over Robson Conceicao wasn’t a robbery and that he deserved the 12 round unanimous decision victory in Tucson, Arizona.
Bradley feels that the right guy got the win, and the only issue he has is with the judge that scored it 117-110 for Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs). As far as Bradley is concerned, that judge should be fired for turning in such a terrible score.
The other two judges gave it to Valdez by an identical 115-112 score, which is a little closer to the actual fight that took place at the Casino Del Sol.
Valdez was outboxed in the first half of the fight, appearing to lose five of the first six rounds. Interestingly, one of the judges had Valdez winning five of the first six.
Down the stretch, Valdez rallied appeared to win most of the championship rounds. This writer had Conceicao winning the fight, as he fought well enough to win two of the final six rounds, including the first five rounds.
The referee took a point away without warning to Conceicao in the ninth round after he lightly tapped Valdez in the back of the head in response to him repeatedly hitting him with illegal punches to the kidneys with his right hand.
Bradley: Valdez’s win wasn’t a robbery
“I’ve never seen Conceicao seem to composed in the first half I would say. I’d never seen him like that, so I thought he might have had an experienced trainer,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype.
“I would say that Valdez stuck with the script. The only way you can beat this guy is to stop him or outbox him. You saw that he can be outboxed,” said Bradley.
“Moving forward, you got guys like Shakur Stevenson, you got guys like Jamel Herring. Honestly, if that [version] of Valdez shows up, it’ll be terrible. It would be a nightmare for him. He’s a great champion, and he’s relentless.
“He’s strong and fearless, and that’s what he showed tonight,” said Bradley in pouring on the compliments of the popular ESPN house fighter Valdez. “That’s what he showed. I seen the outcry, ‘It’s highway robbery’ and stuff like that.
“In my opinion, and I’ve been around the sport a long time, no, it wasn’t a highway robbery. I didn’t like the scorecard, 117-110. Fire that dude. What we he looking at? You know he was on the payscale. Fire that guy, get rid of him.
“Yes, it was a bogus point deduction,” said Bradley in referring to the referee penalizing Conceicao in round nine after he hit Valdez in the back of the head during a clinch.
The referee hadn’t warned Conceicao previously, and the punch was more of a tap from the Brazilian fighter to let Valdez know to stop illegally hitting him in the back during their clinch.
“I think the referee could have corrected that when Valdez hit him behind the head,” said Bradley about the referee choosing not to penalize Valdez when he nailed Conceicao with a hard rabbit punch.
“It’s integrity. The referee has to have the same thing. The referee, we got to hold accountable,” said Bradley on the referee failing to police Valdez for his blatant rabbit punch.
I hate to break the bad news to Bradley but the fans DO see the fight as a robbery, and it doesn’t matter what he says because he’s a commentator for the network that Valdez fights on.
You can argue that Bradley’s opinion doesn’t really count as much as the boxing fans, who don’t have a dog in this hunt. The fans have nothing to gain by saying that Conceicao won.
Conceicao blew it by showboating
“The clowning is what got him the loss because he lost the momentum and he allowed Valdez to come on,” said Bradley about Conceicao briefly showboating in the later rounds. “That’s what it is, and it’s how it looks.
“You could see the face of Valdez. He took a lot of punches, but he was relentless, he was landing hard shots, and I thought he was landing the harder, thudding shots.
“He was attacking Conceicao down to the body, and he was catching him now and then. It was how it looked, and he was winning the end of the fight.
“The whole posturing, moving around and stuff [by Conceicao], that doesn’t win you fights. Keep fighting. You’ve been around the sport a long time, bro.
“That’s how you lose the fight. You’ve been around the sport a long time, you know that,” said Bradley about Conceicao.
“It could be experience. it could be the fact that he’d never been 12 rounds before. That could have come into effect. When you’re getting ready for the championship of the world, you got to know that you got to go 12 rounds as hard as possible.
“So, he [Conceicao] let off the gas for a reason. He felt the pressure, he felt the presence of this gator in Valdez, and he coughed it up. The will was broken. He coughed it up.
“Whether he felt he won or not, he didn’t win tonight, he didn’t get the decision. Valdez remains the champion of the world, and I can’t wait for him to step up in his next fight against the winner of Herring vs. [Shakur Stevenson],” said Bradley.
I don’t see how Conceicao could have lost the entire fight just by his brief episodes of showboating he did last Friday night.
The way Bradley is talking, Conceicao was showboating in every round, and just clowning around the whole time.
What actually happened was Conceicao briefly showboated before getting back to business by jabbing Valdez, and picking him off with precise right-hand shots.
For Conceicao to lose the fight because of him showboating briefly in the championship rounds, the judges would have had to go back and change their original scoring in the first half of the fight, which should have been every round for the Brazilian fighter.
Stevenson could be next for Valdez
“Listen, if I’m Oscar Valdez. That knockout win [over Miguel Berchelt], did something to him,” Bradley continued. “Confidence.
“When you know you fought [and beat] boogeyman that everyone was fearing in the division and you step in there and you obliterate him the way he did in that fashion.
“He looked the best he’s ever looked in his career. That did something to this [Bradley points to his head] to his psyche. So now you’re hearing him say, ‘Can’t nobody beat me.’
“I know he’s felt that way inside, but he’s never came out and said it. ‘Can’t nobody beat me. I’m ready for any challenge.’ He hears that he ducked Shakur at 126, and he moved up. But to me, it was a smart move, honestly. Shakur didn’t have a big name like Shakur has a big name now.
“If Shakur can get a belt or if Herring can get a belt, that’s the fight I want to see. You see that Valdez can be outboxed. I’ve known this.
“If you can deal with that punching power, and you don’t allow yourself to be hit by those big shots and looping shots that he throws and you control him outside, you can control him and you can beat him, but you got to do it for 12 rounds. That’s the hard thing because he’s going to keep coming.
“If you don’t kill this man, he’s going to keep coming and keep trying. So the guy that I think can do it is Shakur Stevenson. I think he can do it. Supreme skills.
“I’m curious to see how he looks in his next fight because of all the backlash from his last fight [against Jeremiah Nakathilia]. I’m expecting a different Shakur Stevenson,” said Bradley.
We can’t rule out a possible win for WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) on October 23rd. Herring could very well defeat the non-punching Stevenson, especially if he fights in the same safety-first manner as he did in his last match against Jeremia Nakathilia.
You can argue that Conceicao was a lot more aggressive against Valdez offensively than Stevenson was against Nakathilia, and yet the Brazilian fighter like Shakur won a lopsided decision. What does that say about the way judges score fights?
It suggests to this writer that the B-side fighters that don’t matter as much in the business sense are going to lose 9 times out of 10, even if they get the better of the popular A-side fighter.
Bradley says Valdez was dominating
“Win and move forward and fight Oscar Valdez in the ring because if you beat a fighter like Oscar Valdez, who I believe is a Hall of Famer,” Bradley said. “He could be tarnished because of this whole thing, but it’s all good.
“From his resume alone, forget about the whole testing positive thing, let’s forget about that for now, Hall of Fame, no doubt. I think he has a Hall of Fame career.
“The guy [Valdez] is dominating, he’s never lost, and he keeps on dominating and you got to pay homage for that,” said Bradley in forgetting that Valdez DIDN’T dominate against Conceicao last Friday night.
I’m not sure if Bradley has amnesia after watching Valdez labor to a controversial 12 round decision over Conceicao last Friday, but he sure wasn’t dominating in that fight.
That performance alone by Valdez suggests that he’s not Hall of Fame material unless we want to lower the bar for allowing fighters into the Hall.