Juan Manuel Marquez will fight for the first time since his stunning knockout defeat of Manny Pacquiao when he takes on the unbeaten Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas, and it is the Filipino who provides the most useful reference for this battle, having taken on both fighters in the last 16 months.
The bout is for Bradley’s WBO Welterweight title, but it is the Mexican who begins as the 8/13 favourite – and rightly so.
Marquez knocked out the Pacman in the sixth round in December last year, suggesting that even at 40 years of age his powers have yet to slide. He hasn’t been stopped in any of his 62 fights, while an impressive 40 of his 55 wins have come via knockout.
While 11/8 shot Bradley demands respect, he was the beneficiary of what has widely been seen as a perverse decision in his bout with Pacquiao, winning via split decision despite Compubox stating that the latter was ahead in punches landed, power punches landed, percentage of punches landed, and percentage of power punches landed. The WBO then arranged a review panel of five judges, all of whom gave the fight to Pacquiao.
The 30-year-old has struggled to build up much pay-per-view clout despite his blemish-free record, which can be attributed to a number of factors. The American has just 12 knockouts in his 30 victories, with just one of those coming in his nine title fights.
While a technically sound and speedy fighter, Bradley was knocked down twice in his last victory against Ruslan Provodnikov, and was caught with – and wobbled by – several big shots. Marquez may like his chances of enforcing a late stoppage, which between rounds 10-12 can be got at 11/1.
“Dinamita” is a highly adept counter-puncher and no slouch himself, and the 6/4 on him winning by decision could well justify its position as market leader.
With neither fighter ever being stopped, odds of 2/5 on the fight to go the distance will appeal to many – 7/4 on a stoppage looks a little short, and with that in mind, 25/1 on the draw should garner attention.
Given Bradley’s evident lack of power it is hard to see him stopping Marquez. His sole hope of retaining the WBO belt appears to depend entirely on whether he can frustrate Marquez for 12 rounds, which is hard to envisage given his underwhelming effort last time out and the Mexican’s supreme conditioning and technique.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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