Timothy Bradley (31-0-0, 12 KOs) successfully defended his WBO Welterweight title by scoring a split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) on Saturday Night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The victory was the second successful defense of the WBO title for Bradley. Marquez was unsuccessful in his bid to win a title in a fifth different division.
Judge Glen Feldman scored the bout 115-113 for Marquez. He was overruled by Judges Patricia Morse Jarman and Robert Hoyle who scored the bout 116-112 and 115-113, respectively, to Bradley. I scored the bout 116-112 for Bradley.
In my prediction, I thought Bradley could box his way to a decision, but I was not confident in his ability to take a punch after his war with Ruslan Provodnikov. I am glad to report I was wrong. Though Marquez did not land many flush, power shots, Bradley was able to take the ones that found a home.
Bradley fought a very smart fight. He used his feet like we have not seen before. Bradley moved in and out of range while creating angles. Marquez simply never looked comfortable in the ring. Bradley was able to use his superior speed to fire and land before Marquez.
Marquez looked for the big counter shot, but it was never there. His reflexes looked a little slow which is not surprising for a forty year old fighter. That is not to say Marquez should hang up the gloves this moment. The style Bradley fought with was always going to trouble Marquez.
As for the aftermath of the fight, Bradley deserved all the credit for this victory. He was the clear winner in this fight. This was not a controversial decision. As for Marquez crying foul, it was unwarranted. Marquez has been on the wrong side of some close and some controversial decisions. This was not one of those cases.
From here, Marquez must evaluate what he hopes to accomplish as his career winds down. Is he looking for big money fights or a title in a fifth division? As for Bradley, the sky is the limit. There are plenty of great matchups for him. There is Floyd Mayweather, the winner of Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios, the winner of Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov, and Danny Garcia to name a few. The future is definitely bright for Bradley.