By Rick Reeno
Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas - WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (31-0-1, 12KOs) boxed his way to a twelve round split decision victory over former four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40KOs). The scores were 115-113 for Marquez, 115-113 for Bradley, 116-112 for Bradley.
Both fighters were picking their spots early, with Marquez having the slight edge in the accuracy department. Bradley tried to bully Marquez at the end of the second, promoting a toe to toe battle for the final ten seconds. Marquez controlled the third with the accurate shots. Bradley back with good shots to the body to edge a close fourth. And Bradley continued to land the better, accurate shots in the fifth and made Marquez miss plenty. Marquez came back take a close sixth with the better landed punches.
After a close seventh and eight, Marquez did the better work in the final ten seconds to steal away the ninth. Bradley came roaring back with a stronger tenth, which saw him land a big right hand. Bradley was back on the defensive in the eleventh, picking his spots and making Marquez miss. Marquez appeared to be on his way to win the twelfth, but Bradley rallied with shots in the final twenty seconds and one of those punches nearly put Marquez down.