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Watch Out For The Roach Trap
By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent
Carson, California (March 17, 2013)– To what do you owe the distinction of reading about a roach trap on a full contact sports site? On a recent Saturday night at Home Depot Center in Carson, California, the Home Box Office Main Event between Timothy Bradley versus Ruslan Provodnikov had a roach trap which was set in the twelfth and final round. No, it was not a roach trap to catch the critters munching on fan food in the vicinity of the ring. The roach trap was set for one of the fighters in the ring.
I’m not talking about the fight itself, which other writers have beaten a dead horse writing about by now. I’m talking about the roach trap which was set by Freddie Roach, the trainer of the challenger in the ring. Freddie Roach is not just one of the world’s finest trainers, he’s also one of the craftiest people to train a fighter by capitalizing on his fighter’s strengths and assets and using them to their advantage.
Ruslan Provodnikov is clearly a power hitter. He shoots off his power punches with both hands in a round or two, then takes a few rounds off, then shoots them off again. This is no way to win a fight. But the advantage is if you stand in front of the power hitter, if you make a defensive mistake against the power hitter, the power hitter is going to knock you the bleep out. Worse, if a Freddie Roach power hitter reaches round 12 behind on the cards, the power hitter will be instructed to go for the knockout in the final round and will recklessly do so disregarding consequences.
Provodnikov tried to get Timothy Bradley out of there in the first. Bradley fell to the canvas in the first, immediately ruled a slip by referee Pat Russell, but it was clearly a clean knockdown-as seen and stated by HBO commentator Harold Lederman.
In the twelfth round, Provodnikov went for the knockout, and finally dropped Bradley with an accumulation of power punches to the head which got through. Bradley beat the count at seven, and then the bell ending the bout rang. It’s a trap.
When Freddie Roach has the sort of fighter who cannot be counted on to win the majority of rounds against a technical champion who puts rounds in the band by throwing more punches by volume and doing more body work than his opponents, the Freddie Roach trap is more viable. A power hitter will not be afraid to swing away in the final round, whereas a fighter without power cannot open himself up like that and be exposed to heavy shots.
The outcome of the WBO World Welterweight title bout won by Bradley is of little consequence in the boxing lesson to be learned here. A fighter can enter the ring peaking not just in physical conditioning, but also peaking in terms of their specific strengths, and being able to use them to keen advantage as instructed by the corner.
The roach trap almost claimed a 30-0 fighter as its next victim, and trainers putting their fighters up against Freddie Roach fighters should be aware of the dangers. As for Roach-well-he seems to be chasing Timothy Bradley with Manny Pacquiao, Provodnikov, and probably will try again to beat Timothy Bradley, the target, with somebody else. A warrior with heart like Timothy Bradley barely survived the Freddie Roach trap-but others going against Freddie Roach’s fighters in the future might not be so lucky. The ring is like a chessboard to Freddie Roach, who moves his pieces very well.
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