Bradley vs. Marquez: Keys to Each Fighter Emerging Victorious
For all their differences inside the ring, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez are known mostly for the same thing.
The two fighters, born a decade apart, are forever united in history after each defeating Manny Pacquiao. Of course, Marquez won via knockout while Bradley was awarded a highly controversial win by decision. Their careers will further intertwine when they square off in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Although Bradley has yet to lose in 30 fights, he has a chip on his shoulder from the backlash brewing from his questionable win over Pacquiao. Marquez could have hung up the gloves in a storybook ending after striking down the Filipino legend, but he will keep trucking in quest of his 56th victory.
Here's what each competitor must do to get his hand raised on Saturday night.
Key to Bradley Winning: Use His Speed Advantage
In his last time out, Bradley threw caution to the wind in search of a highlight KO against Ruslan Provodnikov. According to CompuBox, Bradley threw 1,000 punches during the fight. While that style endears fans, it also caused him to take a brutal beating even in victory, as Provodnikov landed 186 power punches.
The match was exhilarating to watch, but Bradley cannot sustain that type of damage. In an interview with HBO's Max Kellerman (video above), Bradley brushed off the fact that he suffered from slurred speech after the enduring bout.
I don't really think about that. Boxing is the hurt business. You have to deal with the consequences later. I'm willing to go into the devil's mouth and do what I have to do, or even dive into the deepest part of the ocean if need be to win. I'll deal with the consequences later.
He'll be forced to deal with the consequences much sooner if he does not assume a smarter strategy against Marquez, who has won 64.5 percent of his matches by way of knockout. For Bradley to win, he must force the 40-year-old to chase him all night, using his agility to tire out the veteran.
Bradley can't stand toe-to-toe with Marquez and take a licking. He not only can't afford to for his own well-being, but it won't help him keep his record unblemished.
Trying to please the spectators rather than carefully picking his spots will end poorly for Bradley. He needs to return to a tactical, defensive mindset to unravel Marquez.
Key to Marquez Winning: Use His Experience and Power
Marquez has been around the block several times, walking miles during his illustrious career. He knows a thing or two about a thing or two heading into his 63rd career fight.
While his age hinders him physically, his veteran savvy could help Marquez land a victory by decision.
Which boxer will win?
Marquez is a smart fighter who excels in counterattacks and combination punches. If he can goad Bradley into trading punches, the Mexican welterweight will exploit his opponent's eagerness and wear him down quickly.
Despite knocking out Pacquiao, Marquez landed just 21 percent of his punches to Pacquiao's 37, according to CompuBox. Bradley hardly represents a similar tactician, but Marquez may need to unleash his strength and end the night early with a decisive blow.
Marquez knows exactly when to pounce, so one moment of complacency can ruin the entire evening for Bradley. If he can get inside his younger adversary's head and trick him into abandoning his game plan, the fight may not last very long.
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