Timothy Bradley Deserves More Respect After Upset Win over Juan Manuel Marquez
It's time to give Timothy Bradley the respect he deserves.
The undefeated champion defended his WBO welterweight title on Saturday, beating Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision.
It was an impressive display from Bradley, who was the more active and aggressive fighter throughout. He threw more punches (562 to 455), landed more (168 to 153) and connected with the hardest punch of the fight, a glancing left hook that staggered Marquez in the final minute of the 12th round.
It was a close fight, and the judges' scorecards reflected that, with two scoring in favor of Bradley (116-112 and 115-113) and one picking Marquez (115-113).
With the win, Bradley improved to 31-0 (12 KOs) and finally cemented his status as a top-five pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Following his controversial win over Manny Pacquiao, Bradley faced some unexpected backlash. He didn't deserve to beat Pacquiao, but the vitriol directed toward him after the fight was completely unjustified.
Beating Pacquiao should have catapulted Bradley into superstardom. Instead, his victory had the opposite effect. Rather than landing a high-profile fight against someone like Floyd Mayweather, Bradley had to settle for a slugfest with Ruslan Provodnikov.
By surviving the brutal fight, which left him with slurred speech for two months, Bradley showed his admirable heart and toughness. He also disproved the notion that he is a boring fighter, abandoning his defensive style and trading haymakers with Provodnikov.
After beating the Russian, Bradley could have taken the safe route and picked a less powerful fighter for his next bout. Instead, he went straight to the top, accepting a challenge from the most dangerous counter-puncher in the world.
Marquez destroyed Manny Pacquiao in December 2012, and despite being the challenger, he entered Saturday's fight as the favorite.
However, Bradley showed why he is the undisputed champion. He showed improved maturity against Marquez, hiding behind his jabs and picking his spots to attack. He didn't take unnecessary risks, which prevented Marquez from landing a blow like the one that finished Pacquiao.
Bradley also carried over some of his aggression from the Provodnikov fight, trading big blows with Marquez in the waning rounds.
It wasn't a dominant victory, but Bradley was nearly flawless against Marquez. He showed his versatility and intelligence, and after earning the win, he deserves much more respect than he got in the pre-fight buildup.
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