Manny Pacquiao was supposed to face Juan Manuel Marquez for a fifth and final time this year. It was the fight that made the most amount of sense for all involved, and it would have resulted in both men getting massive, massive paydays.
When it became apparent that Marquez’s heart wasn’t really in the proposed match-up, Pacquiao’s team set their sights on Timothy Bradley. After all, the 29-year-old had spent the better part of the past year calling Pacquiao out – so it sort of made sense. They could get Bradley on the cheap, the bout came with a built-in storyline, and there were plenty of Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov highlights they could play to convince fans that this wasn’t going to be a repeat of last year’s debacle.
But then Bradley turned Pacquiao down, too. Instead he went and agreed to a showdown against Marquez – one that absolutely nobody was clamoring for. Mind you, that’s not to say this is a bad fight. It’s not. Stylistically, it will be interesting to see Marquez, new body and all, take it to Bradley. It’s just a fight nobody was really asking for.
The point is: Both Marquez and Bradley passed up on a bigger potential payday, against an easier opponent (maybe), to fight each other. Why would they do that?
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Answer: Because clearly they don’t like Pacquiao.
That’s the only logical explanation. For whatever reason, be it because of the way his fans have treated them to date or whatever else, both men were willing to leave money on the table to avoid the headache of dealing with their Filipino counterpart.
In the end, maybe everybody will win. Perhaps Marquez and Bradley will put on a Fight of the Year performance. Maybe Pacquiao will rejuvenate his career against Mike Alvarado/Brandon Rios. Heck, both may happen. But it still won’t change the fact that Pacquiao-Marquez V and Pacquiao-Bradley II failed to materialize because the two prospective opponents hated the guy whose name came in front of theirs on the poster.