By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Chris Farina / Top Rank
WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) scored a twelve round split decision over 40-year-old four-division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40 KOs) on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. In a tactical battle between counter punchers, the younger, quicker Bradley usually able to get off first. Marquez did well in exchanges, which were far fewer than he wanted. Marquez had his best round in round nine as he rattled Bradley. Marquez continued to come on down the stretch, but it was too little, too late. Bradley almost floored Marquez with a left hook in a late flurry in the waning seconds. Scores were 115-113 Marquez, 116-112, 115-113 Bradley.
“I came to win,” said Marquez after the fight. “I felt that I did win. The judges took it away from me. I did my job. I’ve been robbed six times in my career.”
In a clash for the vacant WBO featherweight title, former champion Orlando Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs) scored a seventh round KO over Orlando Cruz (20-3-1, 10 KOs) to regain the belt. Salido was in command all the way as he aggressively pressured the fleet-footed Cruz, who made worldwide headlines as the first openly gay pro boxer. Salido finally laid out Cruz in round seven with an overhand right. Time was 1:05.
In his pro debut, two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO) scored an impressive fourth round KO over world rated Jose Ramirez (25-3, 15 KOs). Southpaw Lomachenko had Ramirez on the deck with a body shot in the first minute and was in command until he dropped Ramirez with another body shot for the count in round four. Lomachenko wins the WBO International featherweight title and is aiming to fight for a world championship in his next fight. Time was 2:59.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Sean Monaghan (19-0, 12 KOs) of Long Beach, New York opened up the HBO pay per view with a third round stoppage of Anthony Smith (14-2, 10 KOs) of Kenneth Square, Pennsylvania. In the opening bell Monaghan boxed patiently early on as Smith was the aggressor. Monaghan used the jab keeping Smith away in round two and worked effectively inside every time Smith clinched. In the third round Smith connected with a one-two combination, later in the round Monaghan backed Smith to the ropes with a barrage of punches that got things started as he began to tee off as referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the contest at 2:39 of round three.
Unbeaten featherweight Jun Doliguez (17-0-2, 13 KOs) scored a sixth round TKO over Giovanni Caro (24-14-4, 19 KOs). Doliguez dropped Caro twice in round six, the second time the bout was waved off by referee Vic Drakulich. Time was 2:53.
Unbeaten welterweight Mikael Zewski (21-0, 16 KOs) scored a TKO Over Alberto Herrera (9-10-1, 5 KOs) when Herrera couldn’t continue after round five. Zewski dominated Herrera through five rounds busting up Herrera’s face in the process.
Unbeaten light heavyweight Trevor McCumby (13-0, 10 KOs) won a wild six round unanimous decision over Eric Watkins (10-5-1, 5 KOs). McCumby scored a flash knockdown in round one, but Watkins came back to drop McCumby in round two. In round three McCumby began to box landing effective punches. McCumby sent Watkins to the canvas again in round four, but Watkins got up and continued to fight. In the closing seconds of round five, McCumby rocked Watkins with a solid left hook as he was saved by the bell. Scores were 59-53, 59-53, 58-53. McCumby who trains in Oxnard and is trained by 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, previously won a six round decision over Watkins last year.
Unbeaten welterweight Brad Solomon moved to 21-0, 8 KOs after a one-sided eight round unanimous decision over Kenny Abril (14-7-1, 7 KOs). Soloman was the taller man as he used his distance on Abril in the opening round. Working behind the jab Soloman continued to keep Abril away and began to pick up the pressure in round three. The Louisiana fighter boxed well as he began having his way with Abril working on the inside through six rounds. There was no quitting in Abril as he stood inside in round seven chasing down Soloman. The eighth and final round Abril kept coming at Soloman as he circled the ring. Soloman was the busier fighter outworking Abril as he swept one judges scorecard 80-72 and the two other judges scored the bout 79-73.