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Bradley says he's Hall-bound after split decision

Updated: 2013-10-14 06:34
By Associated Press in Las Vegas ( China Daily)

Timothy Bradley Jr. advanced his claim to be regarded as the world's best welterweight by winning a split decision over Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.

Bradley thwarted Marquez's attempt to win his fifth world title by coming on in the second half of the fight to win. It was the third straight close decision win for Bradley, who was a hotly-disputed winner over Manny Pacquiao two fights ago, and retained the WBO belt he won in that bout.

The pro-Marquez crowd booed loudly and Bradley egged them on afterward. He won 116-112 on one card and 115-113 on another, while a third judge had Marquez winning 115-113. Associated Press scored it 115-113 for Bradley.

Bradley rocked Marquez with a left hook in the final seconds of the final round, the biggest punch of the fight between the last two men to beat Pacquiao.

Bradley says he's Hall-bound after split decision

"That win was my ticket to the boxing Hall of Fame," Bradley said. "I beat a great champion."

Coming off a brutal brawl with Ruslan Provodnikov last March that took him two months to recover from, Bradley vowed to avoid a war with Marquez. He used his left jab to keep the Mexican away and boxed from the outside for most of the bout before trading wild punches in the final round.

"He couldn't touch me," Bradley said. "I gave him a boxing lesson."

Marquez was in the fight the entire way but at the age of 40 he seemed less active than in earlier fights. Bradley was the aggressor most of the night and seemed to control the action from the middle rounds on.

"I came to win. I felt that I did win," Marquez said. "The judges took it away. You don't have to knock out a guy to win."

The decision loss was the latest in a series of disappointing decisions that have gone against Marquez. He fought Pacquiao three times, losing twice and getting a draw on narrow decisions before finally knocking him out.

"I've been robbed six times in my career," Marquez said. "I clearly won the fight."

 Bradley says he's Hall-bound after split decision

Undefeated WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. of the US celebrates his victory over Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday. Steve Marcus / Reuters

(China Daily 10/14/2013 page23)