Sports

Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley Involved in a Different Sort of Battle Now

| by Alex Groberman
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Manny Pacquiao will apparently not fight Juan Manuel Marquez or Timothy Bradley at the end of this year. If all of the reports floating around right now prove to be true, and if all of these agreements that haven’t officially been signed yet hold up, then Bradley and Marquez will face off against one another in September while Pacquiao is left to fight Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios in November.

Presuming that’s the way things actually go down, it will be interesting to see who wins the silent battle that will undoubtedly go on between Pacquiao and the two guys who teamed up to avoid fighting him. It’s no secret that he wanted Marquez next; similarly, it’s no secret that Bradley was Pacquiao’s second choice. Them squaring off against one another is a sign that they think they’re better off sans the Filipino star.

Whereas Bradley hasn’t actually said that, though, Marquez has. He publicly come out and proclaimed that fighting Pacquiao again would be pointless.

"Look, what is being said about Pacquiao -- that a fifth fight wouldn't make sense -- well, it's just like that," Marquez said to ESPN recently. "It still doesn't make sense. To me, it wouldn't be a challenge, and I need challenges. I would like to close my career in good standing and leave a legacy behind me. I want everyone to remember me for having faced the best fighters out there, and I believe Timothy Bradley is one of them. And why not look forward to finding that fifth title in a fifth weight class, which is something no one here in Mexico has achieved?

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"So to me this is an important challenge, a difficult challenge, a tough challenge. But I always have the mindset that anything can be achieved."

It’s an admirable mindset, but if Marquez’s goal is earning the same sort of cash he could have gotten taking on Pacquiao, that’s one mountain he won’t be able to climb. Bob Arum acknowledged this much in an interview with Dan Rafael.

"I think we can do 500,000 or 600,000 buys," Arum said. "We think the lowest is 400,000, with a shot at 600,000. Marquez is now bigger in Mexico than Chavez Jr. after the way he beat Manny, and Tim is coming off that great fight with Provodnikov. People know a good fight."

There is absolutely no doubt that Pacquiao-Marquez V would have broken the million buys mark. That means, regardless of how they split the purse, there is a difference of about 500,000 buys between what could have been and what will happen. Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s presumed match-up against (probably) Alvarado figures to be just as big as every other fight he’s had over the past decade.

Marquez and Bradley were determined to prove a point when they agreed to fight each other: We don’t need Manny Pacquiao to be successful. How accurate is that theory? We'll all find out together when the dollar figures from both fights are tallied up.