Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez will face off tonight, live on HBO pay-per-view in a bout for Bradley's WBO welterweight championship. The pay-per-view broadcast kicks off at 9 p.m. ET with a four fight main card. The card runs $64.95 in HD and $54.95 in SD.
The pay-per-view card:
WBO Welterweight Title (12 rounds): Timothy Bradley (c) (30-0, 12 KO) vs Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO)
Vacant WBO Featherweight Title (12 rounds): Orlando Salido (39-12-2, 27 KO) vs Orlando Cruz (20-2-1, 10 KO)
WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Title (10 rounds): Sean Monaghan (c) (18-0, 11 KO) vs Anthony Smith (14-1, 10 KO)
WBO International Featherweight Title (10 rounds): Jose Ramirez (c) (25-3, 15 KO) vs Vasyl Lomachenko (0-0)
- Tim Bradley was out for 9 months after his ultra-controversial win over Manny Pacquiao and returned to the ring against Ruslan Provodnikov. The Provodnikov bout turned into an unbelievable war and one that left Bradley with significant issues including slurred speech for two months. There are some that feel that the bout may have taken too much out of him and may have shortened or ruined his career.
- Juan Manuel Marquez finally got the win over Manny Pacquiao, knocking him out cold after losing three controversial decisions. While he has seemed uninterested in a fifth bout with Pacquiao, if he can win and Pacquiao can get by Brandon Rios next month, there's a very real chance that the two men fight for a fifth time.
- Orlando Cruz is the first (active) openly out homosexual boxer. Many have been surprised -- including Cruz himself -- by the amount of support he has gotten since coming out as gay. His ring attire will be rainbow to support the LGBT community with pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If we're being honest, the increased profile of Cruz since coming out got him onto the card and in a title fight. In Salido, Cruz faces a very tough, traveled veteran who has been in against some serious top talent. Salido got badly beaten by Mikey Garcia in his last fight, but he's the favorite for the fight for a reason. A Cruz win would be a big story though.
- Sean Monaghan moves tickets in the northeast. Top Rank has admitted that his ability to sell to the Irish crowd in New York is why they added him to their stable of fighters. This fight is in Vegas, so he plays little part in the live gate, but his passionate fanbase may give the pay-per-view numbers a small boost. A loss here would be a setback in Top Rank's plans to use him to help boost the gates when they put on shows in New York.
- Vasyl Lomachenko is making his pro debut in a regional championship fight, something virtually unheard of in the sport. More impressively, if he wins, he'll receive a world title shot. Why does Lomachenko get this opportunity? Because he won the silver medal in the 2007 world amateur championships, gold at the 2008 Olympic games, gold at the 2009 world championships, gold at the 2011 world championships and gold at the 2012 Olympic games. He held an amateur record of 396-1. So...yeah, pretty good at boxing.
Juan Manuel Marquez - $4,000,000 (guaranteed minimum of $6,000,000)
Timothy Bradley - $4,100,000
Orlando Salido - $100,000
Orlando Cruz - $65,000
Vasyl Lomachenko - $100,000
Jose Luis Ramirez - $25,000
Seanie Monaghan - $60,000
Anthony Smith - $20,000
Main event prediction:
Bradley has the speed advantage but Marquez is a masterful counterpuncher. Marquez also has the power advantage. He dropped Pacquiao once in the last fight before landing the crushing right hand counter that left Pacquiao out cold on the canvas.
Bradley got hit...a lot by Provodnikov and, while Provodnikov is a talented fighter, he's no Marquez.
Bradley has a good chin, so I think he can survive to the final bell, but I think Marquez takes a clear decision victory.