SAN DIEGO, October 13, 2013 – Juan Manuel Marquez fought on Saturday night seeking a personal and professional record, sealing his place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest boxers ever from Mexico. Timothy Bradley fought on Saturday to prove a point, to earn his way into boxing’s top tier and win some respect.
Bradley made that point, winning a split decision victory over Marquez and remaining undefeated in a smart, well-executed fight few people expected to see.
For several rounds, fans watched Bradley as he was the aggressor, moving in with lead jabs and scoring accurate hooks and body shots against Marquez, then nimbly moving out of the way or block the lion’s share of the trademark Marquez counterpunches. He won a round. Then another. Then still another.
Suddenly instead of nervously anticipating the potential of a wicked Marquez knockout, Marquez nervously waited for him to step on the gas and start doing damage to Bradley. At this late stage of the fight, Bradley began to employ good defensive tactics, evading the most serious attempts to make contact by Marquez.
There were several flurries that got the blood pumping from the pair, but by the end of the fight, Marquez hadn’t done enough to prevail. As if to put an exclamation point on the fight, Bradley connected with a powerful left hook that sent Marquez stumbling backwards in the last seconds of the final round. Marquez is fortunate it didn’t happen any earlier or he might have been finished off by a charging Bradley.
The judges scored it close, with Glenn Feldman having115-113 for Marquez; Robert Hoyle 115-113 and Patricia Jarman scores it 116-112, both for Bradley.
So what is it going to take for Bradley to win the respect he has clearly earned? He is undefeated (31-0, 12 KOs) and worthy of stepping in the ring with anyone in his weight class. His bout with Ruslan Provodnikov in March still stands so far as the Fight of the Year for 2013.
Bradley told HBO’s Max Kellerman after the bout, “I feel great man, I feel fantastic. I knew this was my moment, I told anyone who would listen.”
Bradley said of Marquez at the news conference after the fight, “Everything worked. I gave him a boxing lesson, I jabbed over and over. He couldn’t touch me. I had complete control.” Bradley says the fight has secured his future in the Hall of Fame. Perhaps, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Marquez left the arena without conducting interviews, but later backstage and at the post-fight news conference, Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) said he felt robbed of a victory by the judges. “The judges took it away from me, You don’t have to knock down the other guy to win the fight. I thought I clearly won.” His trainer Nacho Berestein was more blunt, saying that Bradley is the only undefeated fighter with two losses, referring to his controversial decision over Manny Pacquiao and the fight Saturday.
Marquez now has a lot of thinking to do. At 40 years old, should he call it a career? His legacy is assured despite the sting of this loss. Does Marquez try to avenge this loss with a Bradley rematch, or does he watch the outcome of the November 23 bout between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios and see what might come of the result there for him?
Bradley likewise will watch the Pacquiao vs. Rios fight with great interest. Should he get the chance to fight Pacquiao again, a victory would erase any lingering doubts there. There is also the outcome of next week’s bout between Mike Alvarado and Bradley’s foe in March, Ruslan Provodnikov. Should Alvarado prevail, more variables get put into the mix. The more ingredients the better for fight fans.
In the three televised undercards, all ended in early round TKO victories. Bricklayer turned boxer “Irish” Seanie Monaghan make short work of Anthony Caputo-Smith. Monaghan snapped Caputo-Smith’s head back and went in to finish him with consecutive straight punches. Although Caputo-Smith remained standing, he was done and the fight was stopped at 2:39 of round three. Fans hope Monaghan is the next Micky Ward. It’s early but he remains undefeated with 19 wins, a dozen by knockout.
Vasyl Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO) had an impressive debut against Jose Luis Ramirez (24-3-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico. There is always a question about how an amateur’s record will translate to the professional ranks, even one as good as two time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko. No question here. He gets the TKO victory by way of a trio of body shots that dropped Ramirez to the canvas. Referee Russell Mora began the count, but stopped the fight at 2:59 seconds of Round 4. Thirty percent of the punches Lomachenko landed were body shots. Lomachenko knows how to bring the action and he’s a fighter fans are eager to see again soon.
Happily, they will. Lomachenko will fight the winner of the fight that took place prior to his, Orlando Salido. Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs) defeated Orlando Cruz (20-3-1, 10 KOs), getting the TKO at 1:06 of Round 6, winning the vacant featherweight title. Salido was the aggressor and employed plenty of body shots in his victory as well. It’s a trend and a good one.
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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