Marquez vs. Bradley: Desert Storm Proves Himself Despite Disputed Result
Timothy Bradley has not always endeared himself to fans, but he is clearly among the best boxers in the world after defeating Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision.
The WBO welterweight champion defended his title against one of the top fighters of his generation. While one judge thought Marquez was the victor 115-113, scores of 115-113 and 116-112 in favor of Bradley gave him the win.
Fans in attendance were not happy about the decision, raining boos upon the announcement. Marquez also stated after the match that he felt he was once again cheated out of a win, according to Boxing Insider:
Juan Manuel Marquez: "I've been robbed six times in my career, I clearly won the fight" #Boxing— Boxing Insider.com (@BoxingInsider) October 13, 2013
Still, this was nothing like Bradley's victory over Manny Pacquiao, which was one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history. Judge C.J. Ross—who scored that fight in favor of Bradley—recently stepped down after another disputed scoring in a match between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez.
On the contrary, "Desert Storm" rightfully earned the victory in this bout against a quality fighter.
ESPN Stats and Info provided a graphic to show that Bradley was more active and landed slightly more punches in the match:
Check out where Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez landed their punches during the fight Saturday. pic.twitter.com/CfAYXWSApc— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 13, 2013
However, the commentary was even more revealing by boxing fans and experts.
This is the best Bradley has ever looked. #BradleyMarquez— Mark Kriegel (@MarkKriegel) October 13, 2013
Bradley stole a decision over Pacman but earned a win over Marquez.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) October 13, 2013
Some were even surprised the match was not a unanimous decision.
ESPN boxing analyst Dan Rafael had this to say about the result:
Bradley deserved every point the judges gave him as he won a split decision against Juan Manuel Marquez to retain his welterweight world title for the second time before 13,011 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Bradley set the pace and showed Marquez enough movement to cause him problems. By the second half of the fight, he appeared to be in a groove.
Bradley clearly entered with a plan and was able to beat one of the better technical boxers in the sport. He did not try to brawl with him, but instead utilized great strategy to come out on top.
Where does Timothy Bradley rank among the best boxers right now?
The result is that the 30-year-old fighter is suddenly one of the most accomplished competitors in the sport. He improved to 31-0 in his career with wins over two future Hall of Fame fighters.
After the match, Bradley discussed how his legacy changes with the win. According to ESPN, he said, "That win was my ticket to the boxing Hall of Fame. I beat a great champion."
While this might be a bit premature, it is getting harder for critics to question his talent. He continues to challenge himself against the best and seems to always find a way to come out on top.
Although Desert Storm does not earn tons of knockouts, he still does enough to impress judges. This is all it takes to survive in the sport.
With the latest win, he should start climbing the rankings of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Prior to the match, BoxingScene.com had Marquez as the No. 3 boxer while Bradley was outside of the top 10.
All of a sudden, Bradley should find himself within the top five of most lists as he continues to prove he is among the best in boxing.
If he can win a few more high-profile bouts, he will find himself in the consideration for the best of his generation.
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