Story by: Robert Uzzell
Wladimir Klitschko, Juan Manuel, and Timothy Bradley have decided to hand the gloves up on their outstanding boxing careers. Both men are Hall of Fame fighters in my opinion. Neither one can be accused of dodging any fighter and while neither may be considered the best, they would’ve given anyone trouble in any era of boxing!
Let’s start with Timothy Ray “Desert Storm” Bradley, Jr. Timmy ends his career with 33 wins, only 2 losses, and a questionable draw. He has 13 wins by knockout. His only losses were to Manny Pacquiao, and there is no shame in losing to (arguably) the best fighter of this era.
Timothy Bradley won five world championships in two different weight classes. There was a stretch from 2007 – 2016 when he took on the following fighters IN ORDER:
Former IBF World lightweight champion Miguel Vasquez.
Former WBC World light welterweight (junior welterweight/super lightweight) champion Junior Witter.
World title challenger Edner Cherry.
Former WBO World light welterweight (junior welterweight/super lightweight) champion Kendall Holt.
Undefeated welterweight Luis Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs).
Undefeated former WBC and IBF World light welterweight (junior welterweight/super lightweight) champion Devon Alexander.
The only eight-division world champion (11 world titles) in the history of boxing, Manny Pacquiao.
World title challenger Ruslan Provodnikov.
Former four-division champion (9 world titles) Juan Manuel Marquez.
The only eight-division world champion (11 world titles) in the history of boxing, Manny Pacquiao (Part II).
Interim WBA World welterweight titleholder Diego Chaves.
The only eight-division world champion (11 world titles) in the history of boxing, Manny Pacquiao (Part III).
Bradley didn’t have the biggest punch in the world, but he always fought like he did. His heart was unquestionable and he was a “dog” in the ring. You came out always knowing you were in a fight and taking him out was almost impossible.
I’ll miss him. My favorite parts of his career are when he punked Devon Alexander and made him quit. Devon had cuts due to punches and a head-butt, but when asked which eye was giving him trouble he pointed to the one which didn’t have the bad damage. Bradley took the fight out of him.
I also remember when Kendall Holt landed his money punch (the left hook) to Bradley and I thought the fight was over. Check out the 40-second mark of the video below and then watch Bradley’s head and eyes on the slow motion replay at 44 seconds. It still amazes me how Bradley popped right up afterwards and went on to win the fight.
Next up is Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez Mendez, (56-7-1, 40 KOs), who help nine world titles in four different classes. He fought in five total weight classes. Marquez lost his first fight, then rolled off 29 wins in a row before losing his WBA featherweight shot against Freddie Norwood. Less than four years later he got his second chance and won the vacant IBF featherweight strap. Later that year, he unified and won the WBA title over Derrick Gainer.
In 2004, he fought the lineal champion Manny Pacquiao and despite being dropped three times in the first, the fight ended in a split-decision draw.
Over the course of the next few years he jumped between featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and took on all comers.
Marquez will be known for three things, being one of the best counter-punchers in boxing, his four fights with Pacquiao, and the shot heard across the world on December 8, 2012 (against Pacquiao).
Watch Marquez’s fights with Juan Diaz, “Smoke” Gainer, Julio Cervacio (brutal- see video below), Casamayor, and many others.
And then came the shot that shocked the boxing world! Marquez’s fourth and final fight with Manny Pacquiao. Marquez didn’t get any breaks in the previous three fights so decided to create one for himself.
It was perhaps the most significant punch of the past decade. “He’s not getting up Jim, he’s not getting up Jim, he’s not getting up Jim!”, exclaimed Roy Jones Jr.
His final fight was against Mike Alvarado. Check out his career in professional boxing. In it he fought:
Former WA World featherweight champion Freddie Norwood.
World title challenger Robbie Peden.
Former five-time World featherweight champion Manuel Medina.
Former WBA World featherweight champion Derrick “Smoke” Gainer.
The only eight-division world champion (11 world titles) in the history of boxing, Manny Pacquiao (four times).
Former IBF and WBO World featherweight and WBO World junior lightweight champion Orlando Salido.
Former four-time World champion Marco Antonio Barrera.
World title challenger Ricardo “Rocky” Juarez.
Former unified WBA, IBF, and WBO World lightweight champion Juan Diaz.
Former multi-division champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Former WBO World lightweight titleholder Michael Katsidis.
Former WBO World junior welterweight (light welterweight/super lightweight) champion Mike Alvarado.
Former five-time World champion (two weight classes) Timothy Bradley, Jr.
For young fans who don’t know, Marquez was a Hall of Famer before the Pacquiao knockout.
Finally we have Wladimir Wladimirowitsch “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko or Володи́мир Кличко́ who ends his career at 64 wins, 5 defeats, with 53 big wins by KO.
Many fans and media find it difficult where to play Wlad in the all-time heavyweight great category. Whenever such a difficult task happens, you have to look at the accomplishments of the fighter in their era.
If you do that, Wladimir is in the Top 10. He defended his title 23 times, second only to the great Joe Louis.
Klitschko had a polarizing style, as he was considered dull by man-a-fan and media member. His circling jab and cerebral style wasn’t what fans of action fights wanted to see. It was too “robotic” they would say.
How odd is it then that his final fight, a action-packed loss at age 41, gives fans something to remember for many years?
Klitschko lost to Anthony Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) in a fight where 90,000 fans created an electric atmosphere. The old man didn’t let them down in a fight In the fifth round, Joshua came out and jumped on Klitschko, sending him to the canvas. An angry Klitschko got up and dominated Joshua for the rest of the round. We’ve never seen this from Wlad. In the past, if Wlad goes down, Wlad doesn’t recover to do anything of note.
In the case of the Joshua fight, Wladimir came out in the next round and landed a straight right hand to drop Joshua hard. Joshua was in trouble and the old man came to finish him off but couldn’t. Joshua was gassed beyond description and the old man was one big punch away from ending it.
Despite not being able to finish, Klitschko won his share of rounds until the 11th round. Joshua attacked Wlad and landed an uppercut that would’ve kept the younger version of Klitschko (and most heavyweights down for good. Somehow the old man stood up but was badly hurt. Follow up combinations, ending with a left hook dropped Wlad. Klitschko got up, and series of punches floored Klitschko another left hook. Wlad was up and as AJ came to finish him the referee stopped it. The replay showed most of the shots missed and Wlad, though extremely tired, deserved an opportunity to finish.
If the knock on him was that he was boring, Wladimir Klitschko did more for some fans going out with that loss than he did in all of his wins.
Wladimir ducked nobody in his career. Some of the notable opponents he fought:
Former three-time title challenger Axel Schulz.
Former title challenger Monte Barrett.
Former two-time World heavyweight champion Chris Byrd.
Former IBF World heavyweight champion Francois Botha.
Former WBO World heavyweight champion Ray Mercer.
Former four-time World heavyweight challenger Jameel McCline.
Former WBO World heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster.
Former WBC World heavyweight champion Samuel Peter.
World heavyweight title challenger Calvin Brock.
Former World heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.
Former two-time World cruiserweight champion Jean-Marc Mormeck.
Former WBA World titleholder Alexander Povetkin.
Former World heavyweight challenger Kubrat Pulev.
World heavyweight challenger Bryant Jennings.
World title challenger Tyson Fury* – Fury failed drug tests before bout with Klitschko, without Klitschko’s knowledge.
Current IBF, WBA. and IBO World heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua.
Dr. Steelhammer (Wlad), Dinamita (JMM), and Desert Storm (Timmy), I wish all three of you the very best.
You will be missed!