The Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Timothy Bradley fight coming up Saturday night from Las Vegas could go either way. Bradley is the champion, but Marquez comes in with more positive buzz.
If Marquez can entice Bradley to brawl with him, as the latter did in stretches against Ruslan Provodnikov in March, the Mexican legend will likely stop the champion. If he doesn’t stop him, he’ll floor him or at least stagger him enough times to claim the decision win Provodnikov couldn’t attain.
My official prediction is a decision win for Bradley, though. I think he will have learned his lesson from the Provodnikov fight and he’ll get back to doing what he does best, and that’s boxing.
That’s just the opinion of one boxing pundit. It is always interesting to hear actual fighters' opinions on major bouts like this Saturday’s attraction from the Thomas and Mack Center.
Lydell Rhodes, an undefeated lightweight prospect, provided excellent analysis. He points out both fighters' strengths, but ultimately favors Bradley to win by decision, though he admits to “pulling for Marquez.”
Christian Camacho definitively took Marquez and even got specific with his prediction. Camacho believes Marquez will finish Bradley in the eighth round and says he believes Marquez deserved to win all four fights with Pacquiao. Those are strong statements.
Heavyweight prospect Zach Bunce also thinks Marquez wins, but by unanimous decision. He cites his skills and experience as the major factors. Like many of the fighters who favor Marquez in the bout, Luis “Cuba” Arias, Andrew Tabiti and J’Leon Love mentions the punishment Bradley took against Provodnikov—whom Love couldn’t remember or pronounce—as a concern.
Mickey Bey and Lanell Bellows see the fight as too close to call.
There is no doubt the damage Bradley took against Provodnikov could play a role in this fight and the rest of his career. That said, in four fights against Pacquiao, Marquez has taken a few lumps himself.
Credit the hype and coverage from HBO’s 24/7 series with bringing Bradley’s concussion issues to light. I’d bet that, while concerning, Bradley’s issues aren’t much different than what most fighters face after a knockdown-drag-out affair.
Larry Merchant Speaks
Longtime HBO analyst Larry Merchant echoes the concerns about the punishment Bradley suffered against Provodnikov. Though he falls short of giving a prediction, it seems he favors Bradley—provided he “comes out of it [the Provodnikov fight] good.”
I love it when Merchant substitutes the philosophical terms for refreshingly simple statements like that.
Robert and Mikey Garcia
ESNews carries a reality show on trainer Robert Garcia. In this video, Garcia weighs in on the Marquez-Bradley clash. He says he is leaning towards Marquez in the fight, but acknowledges Bradley has a legitimate shot. He is one of the few who recognizes that Marquez’s age could be an issue.
(Video contains NSFW language.)
All in all, most seem to think Marquez has the edge. This should be commonplace for Bradley, as he never gets the respect a 30-0 world champion would normally receive. Predicting Marquez will win is far from crazy, but Bradley has the goods to capture the victory.
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