Timothy Bradley is becoming accustomed to tight decisions that result in victories.
For the third consecutive fight, Bradley narrowly avoided defeat and maintained an unbeaten record.
Bradley retained his world welterweight title with a close split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez late Saturday in Las Vegas.
“I didn’t think the fight was close,” Bradley said in a post-fight news conference. “He missed a lot of shots. I had good defense. I felt like I controlled the fight.”
Adeptly using a lead left jab and straight rights to the head throughout the 12-round distance, Bradley (31-0) maintained a busier pace against Marquez, who was attempting to win a fifth division world championship.
Marquez (55-7-1) found openings and scored with rights to the head, but Bradley’s punch volume was sufficient to convince judges Robert Hoyle and Patricia Morse Jarman, who scored the bout for Bradley, 115-113 and 116-112, respectively. Judge Glenn Feldman had Marquez winning, 115-113.
“I controlled the action all night with my jab and movement,” Bradley said. “Even when Marquez moved at times, he was missing a lot of shots. I was able to make him pay.”
In addition to successfully defending his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt, Bradley showed no ill-effects from the concussion he suffered in his close unanimous decision win against Ruslan Provodnikov seven months ago.
With Saturday’s victory, Bradley looks to remain in the mix for another pay-per-view bout. The obvious next target would be Manny Pacquiao, whom Bradley defeated in a controversial decision in June 2012. Pacquiao will fight Brandon Rios on Nov. 23 in Macau, China.
“I just want to fight the best — that’s it,” Bradley said.
Ready for prime time
Jermell Charlo wants to join exclusive company soon.
With the junior-middleweight class featuring some of the sport’s most noteworthy fighters and top bouts, Charlo looks to make further inroads in a division that currently features attractions, such as Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara.
The division receives an additional jolt of star power when Floyd Mayweather Jr., occasionally moves up from welterweight, as he did in his victory over Alvarez last month.
Charlo strives for eventual inclusion among the aforementioned fighters and has an additional opportunity Monday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
The 23-year-old Charlo will face New York’s Jose Angel Rodriguez in the main event of an announced six-bout card.
A resident of Houston, Charlo has won his first 21 professional bouts, including 10 by knockout, since he turned professional six years ago.
In his two bouts this year, Charlo captured separate regional belts in victories against Demetrius Hopkins and Harry Joe Yorgey.
Rodriguez, 34, is 17-2-1 with two knockout victories.
“Rodriguez is a tough veteran who has definitely fought quality opposition,” Charlo said. “It’s my job to make him look like an amateur and get him out of there. That’s what I plan on doing [Monday].”
Monday night’s card also will feature three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren, who represented the United States in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games. Warren (7-0, 3 KOs) will face Michael Ruiz (9-3-1, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bantamweight bout.
Errol Spence, a teammate of Warren’s on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, also will appear on the card. Spence (8-0, 7 KOs) will fight Ghana’s Emmanuel Lartey (16-0, 8 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round middleweight bout.
• Boxing at Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena has been dark all year. The lack of fight cards at the 5,000-seat arena in Hollywood will finally end Nov. 12.
Miami resident Michael Oliveira will face Mexico’s Norberto Gonzalez in the main event of a card that also will feature former world junior-middleweight champion Yuri Foreman and Miami residents Yuniesky Gonzalez and Hairon Socarras.
• Tuesday night, ESPN will present No Mas, a documentary profiling the second fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran in 1980, when Duran abruptly stopped fighting, giving Leonard the TKO win. The program starts at 8.