Trash Talk Express: Bradley-Vargas Preview

By Robert Ecksel on June 26, 2015
Trash Talk Express: Bradley-Vargas Preview
Everybody loves knockouts. It’s boxing’s equivalent of a grand slam or a hole in one.

Judging by the reaction, calling out Morales may have been a tactical error. I mean, who does Bradley think he is? Danny Garcia?

Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, in a fight televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, former two-division champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (31-1-1, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, California, fights WBA super lightweight champion Jessie Vargas (26-0, 9 KOs), from Las Vegas by way of Los Angeles, for the interim WBO welterweight title.

There is no shortage of titles available on Planet Boxing, but a championship fight is a championship fight. This championship fight, however, is attracting less attention than it perhaps deserves. It has little to do with the fighters’ combined won-lost records of 57-1-1. It has everything to do with their handful of KOs.

No one likes fine boxing more than I. But everybody loves knockouts. It’s boxing’s equivalent of a grand slam or a hole in one. It defines the sport, more than niceties like defense, head movement, footwork, and combination punching.

Vargas will have former four-division champion and future Hall of Famer Erik Morales as his chief second in this fight. Best known for his cojones, the wisdom of having what most of us consider a novice trainer in his corner can be disputed.

“I’ve trained many fighters in Mexico,” said Morales. “But Jessie is the best fighter I will be working with and this is the biggest fight. We will win this fight.  Jessie will put on pressure with intelligence and mix it up, using counterpunching. Bradley likes to go into his comfort zone in the ring. We will attack there too.”

Vargas explained why he chose Morales.

“I am very religious so I began to pray for the right person to train me,” he said. “Instantly, the name of Erik Morales came to me. I was able to track him down and he came right to our training camp in Las Vegas. I watched practically of all Erik’s big fights—the wars with Marco Antonio Barrera, the fights against Manny Pacquiao. Erik always fought hard and with all his heart. That’s who I want in my corner, someone who will give me everything they have to beat Bradley.”

Beating Bradley won’t be easy. Beating Bradley is never easy. He may have a couple disputed wins to his credit, the first fight with Pacquiao and the fight with Provodnikov come to mind, but he’s a fighter through and through, whether it’s in the ring or in front of a camera.

“Jessie Vargas?” he said in disbelief to those who think the 26-year-old has a snowball’s chance in hell of beating him. “I’m going to whup his ass on Saturday. And if Morales got a problem and he want some he can get some at the end of the year too, because I got two fights this year. This is my first fight. I’m gonna beat his boy. Then I’m gonna come back and beat his behind.  He can come out of retirement, whatever weight. He can fight at a catchweight, 154, whatever. You wanna fight at 200? We can fight there, and I’m going to whup your ass next. So, if you wanna talk, you can say whatever you wanna say.”

Judging by the reaction, calling out Morales may have been a tactical error. I mean, who does Bradley think he is? Danny Garcia?

“Trainers normally stay neutral,” continued Bradley, “and they get, ‘my boy’s gonna win, he’s a good fighter,’ whatever. But when you start talking shit, when you start talking garbage and nonsense, what know what I’m saying, that gets under my skin. Yes, I’m fired up. I’m fired up for this. Thank you for keep firing me up. ‘Cause you know what? Saturday night’s going to be a good night. It’s going to be a good night for Team Bradley. That’s what it’s going to be. I’m gonna walk out that ring with another belt strapped around me. So, pump me up. Keep me pumped up. I’m fired up. Yup, I’m fired up.”

As if trash talk was as outside their orbit as Bob Satterfield or Jimmy Bivins, the press pressed Vargas during his media workout in the hope of getting a reaction.

“I’m not surprised,” said Vargas. “He is cracking up from the pressure of fight week. He’s obviously very intimated by what he is about to face on Saturday night. This fight will be his downfall. I have had the greatest training camp. I have never felt stronger or hit harder. Erik has been an incredible trainer and who better to learn from then one of the greatest pound-for-pound champions of his era? We know everything about Bradley. This was a Jessie Vargas training camp in an Erik Morales style.”

Not satisfied with Vargas’ response, Morales was asked about Bradley’s rant.

“Bradley wants to fight me? Insane,” said Morales. “He should be worrying about Jessie giving him a rematch. Bradley needs to get by Jessie and he won’t. I assure you Jessie will win on Saturday and from the way Bradley is acting out, it sounds like he knows it.”

Timothy Bradley vs. Jessie Vargas fight will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 9:45 pm ET/PT.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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