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Juan Manuel Marquez: Poor Loser or Justified Complainant?

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COMMENTARY | There was no controversy Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas as Timothy Bradley took a close split decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez. In a bout featuring many, many close rounds, scores could've ranged anywhere from 116-112 for Bradley to 116-112 for Marquez. It was that close and that easy to dispute if one cared to do so. However, the consensus among fans and media was that Bradley deserved the victory and, this time, the judges got things right.

Marquez, thwarted in his bid to become Mexico's first five-division world champ, assumed his customary role of offended loser of a close decision and stormed out of the ring after the judges' scores were read. Once again, HBO's Max Kellerman would have to wrangle a post-fight interview from Marquez in the Mexican legend's dressing room.

"To win a fight, it isn't always necessary to win by knockout," Marquez told Kellerman. "We came very well prepared…we executed a great fight in order to win…Things don't always work out so that you can get the knockout…We did our best and feel like we won the fight. It isn't always necessary that I win by knockout."

When asked about his future, Marquez continued with this line of thought.

"With six robberies in my career…they always leave a fighter without enthusiasm…I don't know what's in my future. I feel we entered the ring very well prepared and did what was necessary to win."

But the griping didn't end there and it didn't end with Marquez.

"We know tonight we fought the world champion and he's an excellent fighter," Marquez's trainer Nacho Beristain said during the post-fight press conference. "He's very lucky. He's the only undefeated fighter with two losses."

Beristain was referencing Bradley's controversial split decision over Manny Pacquiao last year and trying to stack it up against what he saw as another controversial win on Saturday. It was an ugly moment for all those involved in the bout, but especially for Bradley, who deserved the win this time, and for Beristain and Marquez, who came away from the evening looking like poor sports.

Marquez's frustration is understandable, though. Of his seven losses and one draw, the future Hall of Famer could make a legitimate case for winning five of them.

Two losses and a draw to Manny Pacquiao could certainly be fodder for debate while early career decision losses to Freddie Norwood and Chris John were also tightly-contested defeats that could've easily gone in his favor. It's enough to make a fighter, meticulous and fiercely competitive by nature, feel that someone has plotted to take victories away from him-especially if it's a fighter, like Marquez, who has had to fight all of his big bouts outside of his home country.

But at 40 years of age and with a limited amount of time left in the sport, Marquez should also know that griping and complaining about robberies does nothing for one's career and/or reputation. Most reasonable fans will acknowledge the truly poor decisions against him and his fight bio will have the appropriate asterisks.

Forcing the issue and pointing fingers, over and over, makes a truly great fighter look like nothing more than a whiner and it actually tarnishes the legacy of a man who has otherwise conducted himself with nothing but honor.

Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.

Sources: HBO Boxing, Boxingscene

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