Bradley vs. Marquez: BC’s Prediction
Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, both veterans of foreign wars, enter the ring Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center like soldiers returning to active duty.
Quiet, calm, and focused during the course of promoting the fight, both men have been respectful of each other’s history and distinctions making it clear they are saving it for the ring.
Wednesday’s final press conference was no different than whatever we’ve seen over the last few months: calm, respect, and anticipation. The challenger’s team were the first to come up for air from the love fest. Detracting from his usual steely calm, Nacho Beristain expressed concern over Saturday night’s firefight.
“Bradley is an excellent champion, an intelligent fighter, and I am very worried. But the respect we feel for the champion and his trainer doesn’t mean we do not feel like we will still win the fight.”
Not taking the challenge lightly, Marquez speaks with more conviction than his corner.
“I know this is a tough challenge for me but I trained very hard. I will do my talking with my fists in the ring. I feel I am ready.”
Conviction now, but concern was evident when Marquez spoke candidly about the match. Whether he was asked directly or indirectly, the concern was there. It was there in the instances he likened Bradley to fighters who overcame him, like Freddy Norwood. Engaging in varied training techniques, including yoga, Marquez is leaving nothing to chance in his preparation.
Meanwhile in Camp Bradley a different, more frenzied approach to training has been taking place. Training in the ring as well as training in the intense desert heat Bradley outwardly displays more confidence in his ability to achieve the win while still maintaining a high level of respect for Marquez.
And Bradley, he seems just happy to be there. After thanking everyone associated with the fight in anyway, he expressed happiness with everything from his suite at the Wynn, the reception from the fans, the Marquez camp, and the fight itself. He’s just happy. So happy he punctuated his address to the media with:
“Saturday night is fight night, fun night”
Neither fighter has anything resembling ‘quit’ in their vocabulary. Both exhibit the heart of a warrior in every match they’ve participated in and anyone expecting to see either quit on the stool doesn’t know these fighters.
Bradley’s most recent three fights (Provodnikov, Pacquiao, Casamayor) were testaments to his durability as well as mental toughness. Going the distance with Provodnikov, Bradley was nearly defeated in round one. Listening to the advice of his corner, he changed his strategy, battled back, dominated the middle rounds and survived an end of twelfth knockdown to emerge victorious.
The Pacquiao fight, another fight that went the distance, will continue to be debated until the end of time. Whether you believe he won or lost, he remained in the fight, ate punches, and never went down against a fighter who’s known to knock people out. Against Casamayor, Bradley knocked him down repeatedly with body blows until the corner waved the white flag.
Fighting two of his last three fights against Manny Pacquiao, each with different outcomes, Marquez has undoubtedly battled against the best competition boxing has to offer. In the loss against Pacquiao (the 2nd of their trilogy), the judges were split on their decision and could have easily awarded the bout Marquez. The forth meeting resulted in the knockout heard around the world and against Serhiy Fedchenko, Marquez easily cruised to victory with an assault on the body courtesy of superior speed and strength.
So who wins? Has enough time passed since the Provodnikov fight to allow Bradley to shake off the effects of a concussion left untreated for an additional twelve rounds? Are Tim Sr. and Joel Diaz in synch with their coaching and direction to guide him to victory? With his trainer Beristain “concerned” and father time on his tail, is the hulk-like and superhuman conditioning of Marquez enough for him to outlast Bradley, or even knock him out?
Prediction: Marquez, 6th round knockout.
While Bradley is formidable, Marquez displays more power. He will come forward and repeatedly attack Bradley downstairs with power blows that will wear him down. Once Bradley is buckling, he will finish him off upstairs. If Bradley has any hope of winning, he will have to strike hard and strike fast at the onset to weaken Marquez. Both fighters can fight all twelve rounds but power will be the difference.
If I am wrong, and I’m okay with being wrong, Bradley will have made me a believer. The fight against Provodnikov snapped my attention back in his direction, but a win over Marquez will solidify it.
What’s your prediction? Share your thoughts and follow me on twitter:
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