Timothy Bradley Earned a Rematch Against Manny Pacquiao with Win over Marquez
Timothy Bradley beat Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision on Saturday night, setting up a potential rematch with the great Manny Pacquiao.
In their first bout, the judges awarded Bradley a split-decision victory over Pacquiao. However, the decision was shrouded in controversy.
Despite Pacquiao's apparent dominance, judges Duane Ford and C.J. Ross scored the bout 115-113 in favor of Bradley. This joke of a ruling robbed Pacquiao of a deserved victory and sparked outrage across the boxing community (I was quite upset, and in retrospect, a little melodramatic at the time).
Of course, most of the anger was justified.
Pacquiao landed 253 total punches, compared to just 159 for Bradley (h/t ESPN). Pacquiao also had a massive advantage in power punches landed (190 to 108) and success rate on power punch attempts (38.5 percent to 27.7 percent).
Even without the numbers, Pacquiao passed the eye test. His punches were clearly hurting Bradley, staggering him throughout the fight. Meanwhile, Bradley was constantly moving forward, but the actual damage he inflicted was minimal.
While the judges' decision is still disgusting, Bradley has done everything he can to redeem himself.
First, he survived a brutal encounter with Ruslan Provodnikov.
After taking a beating in the early rounds and suffering a knockdown in the 12th, Bradley escaped with a unanimous decision win. It was a gutsy performance and disproved the notion that Bradley is a boring fighter.
His bout with Marquez on Saturday was much less dramatic, but Bradley again proved that he can hang with elite competition. He stuck to his game plan for most of the fight and showed a little more aggression than we had come to expect from pre-Provodnikov Bradley.
With both wins, Bradley has earned back some of the respect that he (unfairly) lost after the Pacquiao decision.
Now, assuming Pacquiao beats Brandon Rios in November, Bradley will get another chance to prove himself against the legend.
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