Two out of three judges saw Timothy Bradley defeat Manny Pacquiao on June 9 of this year. Let that sink in for a moment. Two professional, unbiased, paid-to-do-this-sort-of-thing boxing aficionados watched the Filipino champion pummel his opponent for the majority of their bout, and still decided to award victory to the other guy.
It was amazing and horrific all at the same time.
In the direct aftermath of that awful decision, the obvious question throwing itself in the face of fans everywhere was: what happens next? Does the fact that Bradley earned a totally undeserved, completely unwarranted plus one in his wins column mean that he and Pacquiao need to fight again?
Do we really need a second showdown that nobody actually wanted to see all that much the first time around?
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Well, according to one of the many men who Pacquiao stepped on as he rose through the ranks to become the top pound-for-pounder in the world – yes, that’s the fight we’re going to need to have.
In an interview with the good folks at Boxing Scene, Marco Antonio Barrera (yes that one) offered his take on Pacquiao-Bradley, as well as where Pacquiao needs to go from here:
“Yes, I saw it,” Barrera would state. “Manny Pacquiao won the fight, I think so. [Tim Bradley] won only two or three rounds.”
At the moment, Pacquiao is slated for a November return but it remains to be seen exactly who he will be facing next. Signs were initially pointing towards a fourth duel with Mexico City’s Juan Manuel Marquez but Barrera insists that Pacquiao must first get revenge against Bradley before looking at other options.
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“The rematch [with Bradley]; the fight for Manny Pacquiao is the rematch,” said Barrera.
Unfortunately, that’s the sad reality we’re likely facing. Despite the fact that the fans and general public doesn’t need to see Paquiao-Bradley II because the Filipino champ has nothing to prove to us, the folks around him are probably whispering a different tune in his ear.
Even Bob Arum -- who has publicly been very flip-floppish on whether he even wants to see a sequel to June 9’s showdown -- almost certainly sees a bigger pot of gold at the end a Pacquiao-Bradley II rainbow than Pacquiao-Marquez IV. (For himself.)
We’ll see what ultimately comes of this, but it sure does feel like Barrera’s comments are a foreshadowing of sorts.