Fight night flutters
Sky Bet's Jamie Casey previews Juan Manuel Marquez's bout with Timothy Bradley
By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey
Last Updated: 13/10/13 9:17am
Timothy Bradley will be out to prove his critics wrong as he goes toe-to-toe with the legendary Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas this weekend.
Despite being undefeated, WBO welterweight champion Bradley is the bookmakers' underdog having gained debatable decisions in his last two bouts, most notably over Manny Pacquiao.
In contrast, orthodox Marquez finally put his demons to rest in his last fight by knocking Pacquiao out, having narrowly failed to beat the Filipino in three previous attempts.
The Mexican will become a five-weight champion if he can satisfy his odds of 8/11 to win, while Bradley is 6/5 to retain his title, with the American being backed in from his initial price of 6/4.
Bradley, meanwhile, took on Ruslan Provodnikov in his last bout but was unable to silence the doubters despite taking a unanimous decision, having being floored in the final round.
Regardless of the dubious decision over Pacquiao, that Bradley managed to take him to the cards is admirable, with welterweight legends Shane Mosley and Joshua Clottey each having lost out to Pac-Man on points.
Should the American return to his natural defensive ways after his erratic display against Provodnikov, it's difficult to see this fight being a classic.
Widely regarded as the best counter-puncher of his generation, Marquez will be hoping Bradley carries part of his last performance into this bout.
However, even if Bradley, who is also of an orthodox stance, does remain disciplined, 40-year-old Marquez is experienced enough to control the fight by advancing and forcing his opponent to come out of his shell.
Whatever happens, Marquez's legacy in the sport is assured, so Bradley may emerge from the opening bell with more motivation and despite his critics the 30-year-old deserves credit for his courage in refusing to dodge the best.
Marquez should prove a step too far, though, and is odds-on to end Bradley's unbeaten record, but the challenger to win in either Rounds 8-12 or points in the Fight Handicap market is the stand out bet.
Safest bet: Marquez in Rounds 8-12 or Points (6/5)
Best outside bet: Under 6 rounds (5/1)
Most popular bet with Sky Bet customers: Bradley to win (6/5)
Biggest long shot bet: Bradley to win in opening 60 seconds (80/1)
Odds are subject to change