Saturday, October 12, 2013

Timothy Bradley vs Juan Manuel Marquez: Weathering the Storm

By Randy De La O

If any fighter in recent years has shown the propensity for endurance, stamina and an indomitable will, it is Juan Manuel Marquez. Not only for his endurance in a fight but in his career as well. Fighting in the shadows of his countrymen, the great Mexican Warriors, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales and certainly in the shadow of Manny Pacquiao, who has been one of two fighters in the world – the other being Floyd Maywether – that has ruled the pound for pound rankings in boxing for the last decade or so (Marquez lost a 12 round unanimous decision to Mayweather in 2009). It has been particularly galling to Marquez (and his fans) because Marquez believes he was the winner in the first three fights. I am not going to take up that argument today. Its enough to say that win lose or draw, the fights were razor thin between them. That came to an end last December when Marquez widened that gap to the size of the Grand Canyon by knocking out Pacquiao in the 6th round in what has to be considered one of boxing's greatest KO.

Bradley has also shown the ability to endure. He took Manny Pacqiauo's welterweight title in a highly controversial split decision. Though no fault of his own, it was a decision that has had a negative affect on his career, at least in popularity. He has handled that well. Whether you believe he won or lost is immaterial here. What matters going into this fight is that he can survive and belongs with, the best in the welterweight division. That much we know.

In his last fight earlier this year, Bradley put an exclamation point on that matter, by fighting what may very well be the fight of the year, when he took on Ruslan Provodnikov. It's enough to say that he won that battle through sheer will. If his heart was ever in question, it was answered that night.

So, going into this fight, we have two good men; one man younger, at his physical peak and with a big future in front of him should he win. The other, older and certainly much more battle worn and tested, who brings with him the experience that comes with a long and great career. He has proven his doubters wrong before but at forty years of age we just never know when the years will come back to haunt him.

Who will weather the storm?

Whether he wins or loses, he is nearing the end of a great career. Marquez is a shoo in for the Hall of Fame. Watch this fight, and watch Marquez, His career has been marked by his ability to endure and to never stop looking for a way to win. That has become his hallmark. It will be a while before we see his like again.

Timothy Bradley will defend his WBO Welterweight title tonight against Juan Manuel Marquez  at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be shown on HBO PPV.

It's no secret to anyone that knows me that I will be pulling for Marquez to win this fight. That said, as a fan of the greatest sport in the world, I say this with absolute sincerity, “Let the best man win!”.

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