Bradley vs Marquez Preview – Possibly the Most 50/50 fight of the year
By Peter Wells
While times seem to be growing harder for Top Rank’s Bob Arum, at the age of 81 Arum is in no mood to quit on boxing. Instead the mastermind continues to produce some of the best fights in recent years. Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado 1 & 2 both thrilled beyond belief. In between he delivered fans with the unforgettable Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 4, a fight that produced one of this era’s most irreplaceable images.
So while Golden Boy Promotions take all the plaudits in September, it will be Bob Arum yet again receiving praises from the fans in October. On Saturday 12th October, unbeaten Timothy Bradley 30-0(12) will defend his WBO Welterweight bauble against Juan Manuel Marquez 55-6-1(40). A week later on Saturday 19th October Mike Alvarado 34-1(23) defends his Interim WBO Light Welterweight crown against Ruslan Provodnikov 22-2(15).
When Arum’s two cash cows fell down in Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, it seemed that Arum’s long reign was nearing an end, but instead pitting his biggest names together once again has meant the detractors are no longer audible.
The damage left by Donaire’s defeat to Guillermo Rigondeaux did leave a small after taste in the mouths of fight fans for a while this year. Nonito’s options seem to be wide open again at the moment but his stable mate and conqueror, Rigo (as he is best known to boxing fans) was left sitting on the sidelines for a while after the win – until the announcement this week that he is now back in action on Dec 7th in Atlantic City fighting Joseph Agbeko. This announcement no doubt will be music to the ears of Rigo fans around the world.
Timothy Bradley has come under ridiculous criticism in recent years, but it can be so easy to forget just who this unbeaten young man has conquered. He dominated current IBF Lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez over 10 rounds before close wins over Junior Witter and Kendall Holt. With considerable ease Bradley dominated both Lamont Peterson and Luis Carlos Abregu. Since then Peterson has become a world champion and Abregu scored a shock win over prospect Thomas Dulorme.
Bradley then went on to beat now IBF Welterweight champion Devon Alexander before destroying a past it Joel Casamayor. Then came his controversial victory over Manny Pacquiao, but even though Pacquiao should have been the winner it’s hard to deny that Pacquiao was given a very tough fight vs the awkward Bradley.
So as you can see it is very easy to cloud one fighters past successes with one controversial bout, but don’t expect Juan Manuel Marquez to be so foolish.Marquez at 40 years old is coming off the biggest win of his career, stopping his arch enemy Manny Pacquiao last December in stunning fashion.
Marquez has shared the ring with some of the best, Floyd Mayweather (L UD), Juan Diaz (W TKO 9, W UD), Joel Casamayor (W TKO 11), Rocky Juarez (W UD), Marco Antonio Barrera (W UD), Chris John (L UD) and Orlando Salido (W UD).
Styles make fights and that statement really does apply here. If Bradley limits his wanting to trade with Marquez his faster hands and awkward style will frustrate Marquez into making mistakes.
If Marquez can force Bradley into a fight of wills then the Mexican could seek out a split decision due to a higher work rate, but this time I see Bradley sticking to the sensible game plan.
Bradley won’t be able to make it look as simple as Mayweather did, but he can control the majority of the contest to take a unanimous decision and earn yet another world class scalp.
So while doubts still linger around Top Rank Promotions, boxing fans will still be hoping that Bob Arum can keep producing, and with the fighters he currently has in his stable, there seems little doubt that he can continue to do just that.
(Note: Fight poster image given to Doran’s Boxing Blog courtesy of HBO Sports)
Also check out HBO’s terrific fight preview video below!
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