It was called a pick'em fight by many and tonight, Timothy Bradley earned a split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in a hard-fought and competitive fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Bradley used his superior hand speed, and most importantly, quick movement to give Marquez plenty of angles, making himself tough to find. Marquez however, looked good early on, as he was jabbing well and was able to find some counter punching opportunities when Bradley got close. Marquez managed to connect with right hands, but Bradley was slowly finding his rhythm.
Timothy Bradley Jr. v Juan Manuel MarquezIn the middle rounds, Bradley appeared to have found the right distance in which he was far enough of away from Marquez to duck out of harm's way, but close enough that his quick jabs and right hands found a home on Marquez' head. Bradley's punch output continued to rise, as he was performing at a level that one could argue was his best to date.
As the fight wore on, Marquez' workrate began to fall as he grew more and more frustrated by Bradley's movement and inability to land flush, while Bradley's confidence continued to grow. Marquez then seemed to find something that worked, as he looked stronger in the 9th round, landing hard combinations and Bradley appeared to get stung for a moment during an exchange. Bradley seemingly taking the round off in the 10th, Marquez again controlled the action and in the 11th, Marquez was getting himself back into the fight and it felt like the fight would be on the table going into the 12th round. In the final round, Marquez was the aggressor but Bradley buzzed him in the final moments and nearly sent him to the canvas.
In the end, Bradley would get the nod with scores of 115-113, 113-115 and 116-112, to retain his WBO 147-pound title.