Juan Manuel Marquez suffered a split-decision loss at the hands of Timothy Bradley on Saturday, but the 40-year-old Mexican is still one of the top-10 pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
Marquez was unable to steal Bradley's belt despite entering the fight as the favorite. As expected, Marquez landed more power punches (115 to 85), but Bradley threw over 100 more punches (562 to 455) and connected on more as well (168 to 153).
Without a doubt, Bradley was the aggressor for much of the fight, and he deserved to win.
That being said, Marquez has nothing to be ashamed about, and this fight will certainly not send him into retirement.
Saturday's battle was about as close it could possibly be, with two judges scoring in favor of Bradley (116-112, 115-113) and one going with Marquez (115-113). The pro-Marquez crowd booed at the decision, and Marquez was adamant in his post-fight interview that he thought he had been robbed.
I don't agree with him, but he was still impressive against the younger Bradley.
Marquez landed some of the most devastating punches in the fight, using his sheer power to punish Bradley. He faded a bit as the fight went on, and Bradley connected with a couple haymakers of his own in the 10th and 12th rounds, but Marquez was the harder puncher.
This wasn't a great matchup for Marquez, who struggled with the stamina and activity of Bradley.
If he was going to win this fight, he needed to catch Bradley with some vicious counterpunches. He connected on a few, but Bradley was smart. He didn't take unnecessary risks and hid behind his job to avoid being rocked.
Marquez may have lost, but he still proved he can push elite competition to the brink. Sure, he's never going to beat Floyd Mayweather, and I doubt he'd win a rematch against Bradley. But against any other fighter in the world, Marquez is a dangerous opponent.
He still has a few great fights left in him. Don't be surprised if he takes down a big-name boxer in 2014 before calling it quits.