Manny Pacquiao picking Juan Manuel Marquez as his next opponent obviously made a lot of people very happy, and for good reason. That said, we should all be careful not to read too much into the decision.
The reason that everyone was overjoyed, you'll recall, wasn’t because the world was pining away to see Pacquiao fight the same guy for a fourth time – it was because nobody wanted to see him fight Timothy Bradley again. Anything, including seeing him fight a 39 year old, was better than that.
Well, not to burst anyone’s bubble, but Pacquiao-Bradley part deux can still happen. The only thing we know for certain right now is that isn’t going down on Dec. 8 – it very easily could occur early next year, though.
If Pacquiao beats Marquez in three months, he’ll face the same exact predicament he faced over the last three. Aside from Floyd Mayweather Jr., there is nobody out there for him to fight. (Besides Bradley.) And we know how precarious negotiations between those two have been, are, and will be. If Pacquiao were to lose to Marquez, then he definitely wouldn’t get a shot at Mayweather. In theory, Bradley would then once again be the only viable option for a potential bout.
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No matter what, it seems like all roads lead us back to Pacquiao-Bradley II.
So, why is the prospect of seeing Pacquiao and Bradley square off again so dreadful? Well, because the Filipino champ absolutely destroyed his opponent on the first go-round. According to CompuBox, Pacquiao landed 253 of his 751 punches, Bradley landed 159 of his 839 punches. Beyond that, Pacquiao landed 190 power punches whereas Bradley landed 108 power punches. And if that’s not enough, Pacquiao also landed more punches than Bradley in all but two rounds.
Again, Pacquiao dominated. But, yeah, based on everything we know, the prospect of seeing that beat down happen again isn’t as unlikely as a lot of folks wish it was.
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All of which means what? Well, do you remember when Bradley said this last week:
"I can't believe these guys," he said (via The Desert Sun). "He didn't want any part of me. Marquez is an easier fight. He knows that a fight with me and two good legs is going to be hell.
"I can't believe it. Any champion who lost his belt, you would want to redeem yourself."
"What the public needs to know is Pacquiao, their No. 1 dude, doesn't care about his loss," Bradley said in that same rant. "You need to redeem yourself because Tim Bradley beat you. You need to come back and redeem that loss.
"In my eyes, chicken (expletive), chicken, chicken, chicken. I'm too much for these boys, man."
It means that those comments can still come back to bite him in the you-know-what. Hard.