The meeting of Manny Pacquiao’s two recent conquerors at the Thomas and Mack Center was far from a rousing scrap – indeed, it was the precise jab of the champion which proved decisive in a close and strategic contest.
Two judges had Bradley ahead by 116-112 and 115-113, with the third favouring the Mexican by 115-113.
Marquez, who was fighting for the first time since his December knockout of Pacquiao, disagreed with the ruling after the bout.
"I've been robbed six times in my career," the 40-year-old said. "I clearly won the fight.
"I came to win. I felt that I did win. The judges took it away. You don't have to knock out a guy to win."
American Bradley, however, was backed up by the stats: According to CompuBox, Bradley landed 30 percent of his punches, and 38 percent of his power punches. Marquez landed 34 percent of his total punches, but was out-landed 168 to 153 over the 12-round fight. The Mexican only out-landed ‘Desert Storm’ in three of the 12 rounds.
"That win was my ticket to the boxing Hall of Fame," Bradley said. "I beat a great champion. He couldn't touch me. I gave him a boxing lesson.
"I had to fight this fight because this is the only way I can win this fight, if I slug with him he's the bigger puncher, he probably would have hurt me early on, so I wanted to stay smart and give myself an opportunity to win the fight.”
Bradley is now open to a rematch with Pacquiao, assuming the Filipino ends his losing streak in his fight in Macau next month against Brandon Rios.
"Anything is possible," he said. "I'd love that challenge. I'll have to sit down with my management and see what makes sense from here."