What to Make of the Bradley vs. Marquez Results & Their Current Standings:
Going into this past Saturday’s showdown between welterweight rulers Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, both men had question marks hanging around their necks. As our own Scott Levinson ably described, Timothy Bradley has been sliding in recent years, even though his record still bore its “0.”
As for Marquez, most fans lost sight of the question mark dangling from his neck. This is because Marquez finally defeated his bitter rival Manny Pacquiao in their fourth outing, thereby winning the sole decisive victory in their four-fight series.
Yet some observers never lost sight of how much damage Pacquiao was scoring on Marquez in the last five minutes of that bout, and until Marquez landed his hammer blow, it looked like Dinamita, and not Pacman, would go down. Furthermore, with Marquez finally achieving his career-defining win, some wondered if the Mexican Boxing King’s fire wouldn’t finally sputter out.
Ostensibly, the razor-close decision in favor of Bradley should eliminate all doubts about whether the pair might not belong among boxing’s elite. Bradley boxed his stick-and-move stratagem with great precision, giving his best performance in years.[Also See: Updated Top 10 Welterweight Division Rankings]
Marquez might have lost, but let’s not forget Dinamita is primarily a counter-punching artillerist. By working a mobile and rangy game, Bradley forced the counter-puncher to come find him. Despite fighting out of his element, a 40-year-old Marquez managed to stretch a world class boxer to the limit.
The Compubox numbers bear that out, as Marquez landed almost as many punches as Bradley, while throwing more than a 100 fewer overall. Bradley was busier, but Marquez was more accurate and more damaging.
That is the conventional wisdom, anyway. I still think the question marks are there, because I don’t think a close split decision between two men who might be on the slide can really answer the question of whether they are slipping or not. Either or both might go to their next fight against a younger, hungrier fighter and get blown out of the water.
In my mind, Bradley vs. Marquez was an entertaining chess match between two talented, world class welterweights… but it said nothing about where either man stands as of today.