The last time I watched a big fight was last month with Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez. The anticipation for that fight was so huge that the night before the fight, I woke up twice thinking I had overslept and missed it.
This time…it was different. The build-up, outside of the standard HBO 24/7 series was almost non-existent. You weren’t hearing the general public talk about the names “Bradley” or “Marquez” or talk about how much one would be making in terms of a pay-day. Even the undercard left me longing for a little more excitement. And unlike last time where I woke up in the morning and watched the fight in the evening, this time, I had to get home from work after working a ten hour overnight shift, get some sleep, tell myself not to oversleep and get to my sport’s bar in time.
Thankfully there were no problems (I can probably function on four or five hours sleep just don’t ask me to do anything complicated after waking up-showering and using the toilet are all I’m good for at that point) and I arrived just as the bout preceding Salido vs Cruz started.
ORLANDO SALIDO VS ORLANDO CRUZ
A little over a year ago when Orlando Cruz came out of the closet and revealed he was gay, my reaction was the following: “Oh” and then I proceeded to go back to watching cartoons. Later on in the evening I got into a debate with someone about it on Twitter who said that Cruz had just ruined his career with this revelation.
I was adamant that being gay would not have negative effects on his career.
Losing fights would though.
And Cruz simply had no answer for the come-forward, eat-every-punch style of Salido who wore Cruz down with his own punches and sheer strength. While I did give Cruz the second round, at no other point in the fight did I see his movement being something that could help him in against Salido. When he went down in agony in the seventh round, I knew it was most likely the end and so did referee Kenny Bayless who wisely stopped the fight at that point.
Salido remains a player in the welterweight division while the future is uncertain for Orlando Cruz.
BRADLEY VS MARQUEZ
I was determined that I was going to be proven right in my prediction, that it would be a close fight and that Bradley would eventually come out victorious.
I heard the commentators use the term “Chess match” a few times during the fight but this was an exciting chess match. The exchanges were exciting and Bradley’s jab certainly seemed to be giving Marquez trouble. But while I was scoring rounds for Bradley, something in my mind was telling me, “A judge could easily score that for Marquez”.
And the same thing happened when I scored a round for Marquez. I didn’t agree with Harold Lederman who had Bradley winning seven of the first eight rounds (If I recall correctly). I actually had it even after six rounds. But after the sixth, Bradley really seemed to be taking over and both fighters were being told by their corners that they were ahead. I was fairly certain that Bradley was winning the fight when it entered the twelfth round and it was when he landed that big left hook that nearly dropped Marquez, I was all but certain that victory was his.
But Las Vegas judges have ways of surprising people. I was on the edge of my seat as the verdicts were read and like judge Patricia Morse Jarman, I had the fight scored 116-112 for Tim Bradley who was rightfully declared the winner much to the chagrin of the pro-Marquez crowd.
I was expecting that Bradley would call out Floyd Mayweather for a possible fight in the future but Bradley did the usual, “I’ll sit down with my manager and promoter and talk things out” deal that does little to make people look forward to your next fight right after you just finished one. Makes me wonder if someone at HBO told them not to call out Mayweather since that’s not going to happen so long as he is with Showtime.
Bradley did mention Floyd Mayweather, but that was only when placing himself among the top fighters in the sport along with Andre Ward. Where does Bradley go from here? Well, depending on what happens next month, we may see him in the ring with either Manny Pacquiao again in a highly anticipated rematch or we’ll see him square off with Brandon Rios.
As for Marquez, he quickly exited the ring and headed to the locker room after the verdict was announced. I wasn’t able to hear what was being said because the audio was cut off at that moment but I doubt he’ll retire. One judge as well as the Associated Press had him winning the fight and to be honest, it’s not completely outlandish if someone did have him winning. Chances are we’ll see him against the winner of next week’s bout between Ruslan Provodnikov and Mike Alvarado.
All in all, it was a good night at the fights. The build-up left a lot to be desired, the undercard needed more strength to it and the main event wasn’t the classic some were expecting. But I will say this for it, there was some good knockouts and even though it was a technical fight, I found watching Bradley/Marquez more entertaining than Mayweather/Alvarez.
Only complaint I do have about the night is that I only got there at the last round of Vasyl Lomachenko versus Jose Ramirez. The two time Olympic gold medal winner looked dynamic in his pro debut with his body shot KO of Ramirez.