BRADLEY UPSETS MARQUEZ, WINS SPLIT DECISION
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Sun, 13 Oct 2013
WBO welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley retained his title when he upset fancied Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez to score a close but well-deserved split decision at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Bradley refused to be drawn into a slugfest like he did against Ruslan Provodnikov when he was almost knocked out in the final round but instead followed trainer Joel Diaz’ well laid out game plan to work behind the jab, move and outbox Marquez who is a superb counter-puncher but didn’t get to showcase his primary skill because Bradley, unlike “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao, didn’t come charging at him.
By fighting a smart fight and winning on the scorecards of two of the three judges just like he did in June last year when he won a widely criticized split decision over Pacquiao, there was no hint of controversy in the fight against Marquez.
Judge Glenn Feldman scored it 115-113 for Marquez, Robert Hoyle 115-113 for Bradley and Patricia Morse Jarman 116-112 for Bradley in a fight telecast on the global network of the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN over the Filipino Channel.
TV anchorman, Atty. Ed Tolentino and this writer who did the fight both had Bradley the winner 115-113.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told the Manila Standard that Bradley “fought a good, tactical fight” and even though Marquez landed 29 more power shots, the American deserved to win and maintain his undefeated record which now moves to 31-0 with 12 knockouts.
Marquez who scored a crushing 6th round knockout over Pacquiao last December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas failed in his bid to become the first Mexican to win five world titles and dropped to 55-7-1 with 40 knockouts.
Marquez showed signs of his 40 year old body against Bradley who was ten years younger and quicker and appeared desperate going into the championship rounds when it was clear he was losing the fight.
Marquez who is not a come-forward type of fighter was forced to be aggressive in an effort to save the fight and did connect with some big shots down the stretch but one looping left by Bradley in the dying seconds almost dropped Marquez who wobbled backwards before the bell sounded.
Bradley who had earlier said he would like to re-visit the Pacquiao fight and perhaps give the eight division world champion a rematch indicated in a post fight interview with veteran HBO Sports commentator Larry Merchant said he would sit down and talk to his team next, but said he wants to fight nothing but the best and considers himself one of the top three fighters in the world along with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Andre Ward.
Bradley said "I feel great, I feel fantastic. I knew this was my moment. I told everyone that would listen."
While conceding that Marquez made adjustments which were pointed out to him by trainer Joel Diaz in the last few rounds, Bradley said "Oh, he made adjustments, he's a veteran. But I had to stay solid on my defense. Just get a little more hungry.”
Diaz for his part said “No one can outbox Tim Bradley. He followed the game plan perfectly. I told him no one can beat Tim if Tim boxes. And he didn't even have a mark."
Arum said talk of a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch was premature. The Top Rank promoter said “nothing is likely, nothing is not possible but Manny has to beat Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios. That’s a very, very hard road so let’s concentrate on Rios and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do next.”
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.
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