Timothy Bradley came into the ring on Saturday night in Las Vegas as the champion, but he was looking for one thing and one thing only—respect.
He should have no problem getting that now.
Bradley outboxed and outworked Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez, winning a split-decision, and retaining his WBO Welterweight Championship.
Scores were 115-113 and 116-112 for Bradley and 115-113 for Marquez.
Coming into the fight, many observers questioned whether Bradley would be able to stay out of range of Marquez's devastating punching power. He did so by coming in behind a stiff jab, and darting in to land shots and get out before Marquez could counter.
He attacked early and often to the body and fought a smart, tactical fight that emphasized his advantages in speed and footwork.
Marquez—who failed in his quest to become the first Mexican fighter to win world titles in five weight divisions—struggled to get his timing throughout the contest, and struggled with Bradley's quickness and ability to land and get out of dodge.
There didn't appear to be any point in the fight where he really hurt the champion, and was nearly floored himself in a scintillating exchange in the bout's closing seconds.
With the win Bradley improves to 31-0 with 12 knockouts, and Marquez drops to 55-7-1 with 40 knockouts.