Marquez vs. Bradley Results: Win Gives Desert Storm Fighter of the Year Hype
Timothy Bradley's split-decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night in Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center was monumental on multiple levels.
Not only did the 30-year-old American known as "Desert Storm" successfully defend his WBO welterweight title for the second bout in a row, but he also gained steam in a possible Fighter of the Year campaign.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix tweeted after the decision was announced that Bradley was well-deserving of consideration for the distinguished honor:
Have to put Tim Bradley in the Fighter of the Year discussion with Mayweather and Golovkin. Strong bounce back from Paquiao mess— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) October 13, 2013
Tim Starks of the Queensberry-Rules.com posed the question too:
Anyone see Bradley a the potential Fighter of the Year for 2013? Big win over Marquez, Fight of the Year candidate against Provodnikov.— Tim Starks (@tqbr) October 13, 2013
Who should win Fighter of the Year?
Defeating Marquez—who became the first man to knock out Manny Pacquiao in this millennium—was no small task, but Bradley made it look as easy as he could have in what was a highly competitive showdown.
Mannix alluded to the "Pacquiao mess" involving Bradley, who beat Pacman in a controversial split decision last year. While that outcome will likely continue to be disputed by Pacquiao enthusiasts for years to come, Bradley was more convincing on Saturday.
The difference proved to be Bradley's advantage in quickness and speed, as he chipped away at his opponent with a relentless jab and phenomenal reflexes to avert the devastating counterpunches that Marquez is known for.
That jab helped Bradley throw 107 more punches than Marquez, per HBO boxing:
Although he wasn't as accurate, this blitz by Bradley didn't create many opportunities for Marquez to move in and turn defense into a consistent, formidable attack:
In an enthralling exchange in the 12th round, the two fighters scrapped to knock one another to the canvas.
Bradley was the most successful, as his monster right hook almost caused Marquez to fall, capping the action with an exclamation point for Bradley's winning effort:
A moment such as that can make a strong case for a prospective Fighter of the Year candidate.
Patience and persistence by Bradley prevented Marquez from landing any lethal combinations and took him out of his element, needing to be the aggressor. Marquez lets the fight come to him in most situations; forcing the action was evidently not his strong suit.
Between this landmark win and a March 16 unanimous-decision triumph over Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley has to be considered among the favorites.
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