SAN DIEGO, October 11, 2013 – The two boxers to beat ten time champion Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley Junior and Juan Manuel Marquez, face off in a pay-per-view boxing event Saturday in Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack Center on HBO, 9 p.m. ET.
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In boxing, a single fight can make history. In boxing, a single punch can define a fighter’s career. Timothy Bradley’s controversial decision over Pacquiao in June 2012 changed his future, not all to the beter. Later the same year, the stunning sixth round knockout victory of Pacquiao by Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico left the entire boxing world trying to catch its breath.
Fans expected a Pacquiao-Marquez V rematch. But Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), now 40 years old, decided he proved himself and had no reason left to fight Pacquiao again. He chose to bide his time and seek another opponent.
Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs), stinging from the uproar over a decision many felt he didn’t earn, scheduled a bout in Los Angeles with relative unknown Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia in March 2013 that turned out to be a brutal brawl, a Fight of the Year candidate.
Bradley and Provodnikov’s crowd pleasing contest came at a big price. Bradley sustained damage from so many blows to the head. After the fight, he said he thought he had a concussion. Doctors who examined him disagreed with each other. He now admits he doesn’t remember most of the fight after the first round.
What is undeniable is that Bradley suffered some sort of brain trauma. He had trouble with slurred speech for months and admitted it took him a long time before he felt like himself. He took four months off before beginning any training. Was the layoff enough? We have seen from professional football the profound, unseen damage that can occur.
Bradley says he was seriously dehydrated trying to make weight for the Provodnikov fight, that his mental clarity is fine and training has gone well for this fight.
Marquez seems to be in phenomenal condition, especially given his age. He claims to feel as good as when he was 25. Marquez can become the first Mexican-born fighter to win a belt in five different weight classes if he defeats Bradley. Even without a victory, his place in the Hall of Fame is assured and he is the best boxer ever from Mexico in the opinion of many experts.
Both fighters made weight on Friday afternoon in front of a packed house at the Wynn Las Vegas. Bradley weighed in at 146 pounds; Marquez weighed in at 144.5 pounds.
Fans crave the action packed fights both Bradley and Marquez delievered in their last respective matchups. But it isn’t in Bradley’s best interests to come right at Marquez the way he did Provodnikov, certainly not in the early part of the fight. He needs to box and move as he did with Manny Pacquiao, and wear Marquez down slowly but surely.
Bradley doesn’t possess the kind of punching power to take Marquez out with one shot. Marquez does. He is among the great counter-punchers of this century and an aggressive finisher when an opponent is in trouble. Bradley cannot allow Marquez an opening to land a counterpunch with the force of the Pacquiao knockout.
Observers question whether Bradley is fighting too soon due to the damage done in his last fight. I’m one of them. But the lure of fighting a champion like Marquez on a big stage for a big paycheck ($4 million guaranteed) is nearly impossible to turn down. It might have been wise for Bradley to take a tune up to see how he felt and whether he could accommodate taking a crisp shot. Watch for the first significant power punch Bradley takes to tell the story of how the fight will progress.
The judges assigned are Robert Hoyle, Patricia Jarman, and Glenn Feldman. In the rare event the fight goes to the scorecards, their decisions will automatically be under scrutiny. None have rendered a decision in a Bradley fight; but all three have rendered decisions on Marquez. Hoyle ruled Pacquiao-Marquez III in 2011 a draw, 114-114. The referee is Robert Byrd, the same referee for Marquez’s last fight Pacquiao.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group
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