It isn’t always stylish or elegant but again, all Bradley does is win - over and over again at the world-class level.
And against the masterful counterpuncher from Mexico, Bradley won by executing a disciplined game plan and exhibiting a certain type of discretion missing from his grueling slugfest with Ruslan Provodnikov back in March. There was a particular tactical precision to what the “Desert Storm” did against Marquez, utilizing lateral movement (that never allowed Marquez to get timed consistently), the steady jab and accompanying feints. Then there was the underrated elusiveness that left Marquez flailing away at air. Bradley gave a textbook example on how to tuck in your chin and use your front shoulder as a shield.
Marquez simply could not consistently hit something not willing to comply with his counterpunching style or something so well-hidden and protected.
“I controlled the action all night,” said Bradley, who upped his mark to 31-0 (12) and retained his WBO welterweight title. He admitted that less was more against Marquez but “It was hard; I’m not going to lie. I like to fight; believe it or not. I like to step in there and fight but I had to listen to my corner to get this win because Marquez is a big, big puncher. He could hurt me at anytime in that ring and I had to stay smart to get this victory.”
His trainer, Joel Diaz explained, “The game plan was not to get reckless; do not get into hard exchanges. [Marquez]’s a very hard puncher; he’s a great champion. Two times in the fight, in the corner, I told him to knock it off; go back to what our game plan is. Don’t try to exchange hard punches with him. [Bradley] actually followed the game plan pretty well.”
At his best, Marquez was always much more comfortable and effective when opponents would come right to him and initiate the action. Bradley simply wasn’t going to let that happen and, oftentimes, as Marquez laid traps, Bradley would merely step backward and force Marquez to come forward and move his feet. It wasn’t the most exciting tactic but it was certainly effective.
Not too surprisingly, Marquez disagreed with the verdict rendered in Las Vegas.
“I came to win; I felt that I did win. The judges took it away from me. You don’t have to knock out the other guy to win a fight. I thought I clearly won. I’ve been robbed six times in my career,” said the 40-year-old, who hinted at retirement as his record dropped to 55-7-1 (40). But while he and his loyalists may grouse about the decision, the overwhelming majority of ringside press and fans believe the correct man got his hand raised in victory.
Bradley is a winner. Whether you like him - or his style - is irrelevant. He has as many quality wins since 2007 as any prizefighter today, in fact, going back to a decision victory (while just a local Southern California prospect) over the always difficult Miguel Vazquez. His ledger includes Witter, Edner Cherry, Nate Campbell, Holt, Luis Abregu, Lamont Peterson, Alexander, Provodnikov and now, Marquez. Even if you exclude the Pacquiao fight, that’s one helluva run for this day and age.
“This is my ticket to the boxing Hall of Fame. I beat a great champion,” Bradley said after his latest victory. “Everything worked; I gave him a boxing lesson. I jabbed over and over; he couldn’t really touch me. I had complete control. I’ve always tried to fight for the fans although a lot of times, they don’t appreciate it.”
No, Bradley is not a superstar or a pay-per-view attraction (at least not currently) but he’s a boxer who has earned respect. For him, it’s a continuing battle. The fierce competitor from Palm Springs still doesn’t know if he’ll get his proper due.
“I don’t know; I really don’t know. If I get the respect, great. If I don’t, keep betting against me. I’m just going to keep winning.”
That’s all he does.
Featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko has made it very clear he wants to fight for a major world title sooner rather than later. Now, in the wake of his dominant pro debut (well, at least his first since the World Series of Boxing) against Jose Ramirez, who was stopped in four, he might be facing Orlando Salido. Salido captured the vacant WBO title by stopping Orlando Cruz in seven rounds.
“Siri” might be just a tad past his physical prime but he is still a formidable foe. Does Lomachenko take this giant leap from Ramirez to Salido? There is talk of this fight taking place on January 25th at the Theater of Madison Square Garden in New York as part of an HBO telecast.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that the highly-skilled Lomachenko and his footwork and mobility would trouble Salido early on. The question is could he hold off this well-traveled Mexican over the second half of this fight?
It would be fascinating to find out; wouldn’t it?
In 2013, Bradley has been involved in perhaps the “Fight of the Year” and defeated a future Hall-of-Famer...The announced crowd at the Thomas and Mack Center this weekend was just over 13,000 (and I get a strong feeling it was a papered house)...More on this later in the upcoming week but the latest edition of “Legendary Nights” on Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward from HBO is excellent...Can’t wait to see the “30 for 30” on “No Mas”...Great weekend for the ‘Canes on a bye week; with several upsets, they are now in the top 10...The “Steve Kim World Tour” continues on this week as I go to Denver for Mike Alvarado-Ruslan Provodnikov...Death, taxes and a Houston Texan quarterback throwing a pick-six...I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.