Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez meet tonight (Sat. Oct. 12, 2013) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout has been at near pick ’em odds throughout most of the last few months, however as fight night is here, 5DIMES Sportsbook has Marquez as a slight favorite at (-140) with the comeback on Bradley at (+120). Both men have defeated Manny Pacquiao in recent outings, knocking ‘Pac-man’ from the pound-for-pound lists and moving their names up. The physical match-up with regards to height and weight are just about even, while Bradley is 10 years younger than Marquez at 30 years old. Pacquiao, who fights next month against Brandon Rios in a bout that sees the Filipino star heavily favored (-420), will still be making more money by himself than these two combined, and that should make both men fight with a chip on their shoulder. The odds could continue to favor Marquez, as the veteran star has all of boxing hungry Mexico behind him, while Bradley’s following appears to be most of his relatives at this point, and little else. But Bradley is a high-skill boxer who is still undefeated, despite many observers feeling Pacquiao did enough to win the decision in their bout. Marquez has really blossomed in his late 30’s, especially in his last outing against Pacquiao. His strength and conditioning have gone to a new level, and he was always a high-skilled boxer who now has added significant power. Bradley has stated that Marquez is the best boxer he has ever faced, and he has been in the press stating his belief that a win over Marquez will stamp him as a Hall of Fame-level fighter. At the weigh-ins, Bradley weighed 146 and Marquez came in at 144.5. The crowd was clearly pro-Marquez, however it didn’t seem to bother Bradley at all. Bradley is very confident, and his coach is talking about getting Marquez to look for the KO blow he has become enamored with, while Bradley boxes and steals rounds. Taking Bradley is appealing, especially if the line continues to move favoring Marquez. The fact is that if Bradley can manage the first few rounds, he has a great chance of taking Marquez the distance and winning a high skill contest. Bradley may need a KO win to get over with the fans and break into the big time, but he does not need a KO to win the fight, he should be favored if it goes to the cards. We will see later tonite!
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