Sunday, October 13, 2013
Some things never change, like Juan Manuel Marquez getting a raw deal from boxing judges.
Forty-year-old Juan Manuel Marquez suffered another close decision loss on Saturday night, this time to Timothy Bradley. Bradley was awarded a split decision victory by scores of 113-115, 115-113, and 116-112. The loss prevented Marquez from being the first Mexican fighter to win titles in five different weight divisions.
A closer look at the scorecards revealed very little uniformity. In fact the two judges that had it for Bradley, Robert Hoyle (115-113) and Patricia Morse Jarman (116-112), had opposite scorecards for the last three rounds. Hoyle had Marquez winning the last three rounds to close the gap. Jarman had Bradley winning the final three rounds to secure the victory. Nice.
This is the fifth close fight that Marquez has lost by decision. In previous bouts with Freddie Norwood, Chris John, and Manny Pacquiao (twice), Marquez had found himself on the losing end on the judges scorecards.
It seems that unless he is prepared to win nearly every round, Marquez truly does need to score a knockout to get a break from boxing judges.
Marquez was convinced he won the fight, as were many of the fans in attendance at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas who booed loudly when the decision was announced. The DSH scored the bout 115-113 in favor of Marquez.
Neither fighter was ever able to truly take control of the bout for any length of time as many rounds were close and the action went back and forth. Bradley threw more jabs and Marquez threw more power shots, neither landed cleanly too often, but Marquez was the more accurate fighter.
Apparently some in the media also believed that Bradley had indeed won this fight. CompuBox numbers most often cited to support the decision focused on Bradley's flicking jab and that he landed a whopping 15 more total punches in the twelve round fight. Unfortunately, few seem to point out how Marquez landed more power punches in the bout and in nine of the twelve rounds.
Thankfully, Marquez is never hesitant to let us know when he is unhappy with the decision. (Some suggest that means he is a poor loser, but he always seems to have good reason...or at least a fair argument. No one recalls him ever complaining about his clear decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.)
"I need to be scared of the judges more than my opponents," the great Marquez lamented. Marquez declared the decision to be a "robbery" and strongly asserted he won the fight.
For his part Bradley brashly asserted the fight was not close. "He couldn't touch me. I gave him a boxing lesson," said Bradley. "Now I'm number three in the world. There's Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, now there's Tim Bradley, baby!"
After the fight, Bradley, somehow 31-0, arrogantly declared himself ready for the Boxing Hall of Fame, citing "wins" over Pacquiao and Marquez. One might suppose Bradley is on a quite a roll and is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the game - at least that's what HBO and others in the media seem intent on convincing us.
Give me a break.
Considering that he has never received a favorable decision in a close fight, Marquez's anger at the decision is understandable. Less understandable is how anyone can stop from laughing let alone challenging Bradley when he makes such outrageous claims. Yet few in the media seem capable of saying what is obvious: that Bradley's hyperbolic claims to historic greatness and top-3 status are farcical. He is no Floyd Mayweather and he is no Andre Ward.
In reality, Bradley once again failed the eye test to most boxing fans in this relatively boring chess match of a fight.
The boos that rained down on him after the announced decision, conveniently dismissed by HBO as the reaction of disappointed Marquez fans, were very telling. Tim Bradley has not earned the respect he declares he deserves. As Marquez's Hall of Fame trainer, Nacho Beristain noted wryly afterward, "He is the only undefeated champion with two losses."
If one wants to truly understand why Bradley is disliked by boxing fans, one need only watch his fights. He is a clever fighter but one with no punching power who shines best when the ring action is at its most boring. Further, he is now the generous recipient of three controversial decisions in a row -- with his "victory" over Manny Pacquiao being an all-time robbery. He is the ultimate anti-Marquez: the guy who gets the benefit of the judges' decisions every time regardless of merit.
By Manish Pandya
Editor for TheDailySportsHerald.com
Video courtesy of Radio Rahim and Maxboxing