Sports

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: Logic and Redemption vs. Risk and Money

| by Alex Groberman

At this point, the world has moved past Timothy Bradley’s laughable victory over Manny Pacquiao last month. Everyone beginning with the fans in attendance on the eve of June 9 and ending with all the folks who watched this bout from home saw same thing – Pacquiao handily beat down his opponent.

Two half-blind, clearly incompetent judges don’t change that reality.

What’s done is done, though. It’s time to move on. And part of moving on is trying to figure out who the Filipino champion will take on next.

Here is what we know for certain about Pacquiao’s selection process right now: it’s down to two guys. Officially, Miguel Cotto is supposedly in the running – but there’s no way Pacquiao would fight someone who just got defeated by his arch rival. No way. So, really, the choice is going to be between a second showdown versus Bradley and a fourth showdown against Juan Manuel Marquez.

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Both men bring certain positives and negatives to a prospective bout, and both have a sellable, marketable history (with Manny) that would make November 10 at least marginally interesting.

I’ve made it no secret that I would rather see Pacquiao take on Marquez, but I’ve also heard enough dissenting opinions to know that a lot of people disagree. That’s fine.

Recently, Pacquiao’s friend Rex “Wakee” Salud sat down with the Philippine Star and essentially handicapped the reality of his guy’s next match. He didn’t offer much insight on who Pacquiao would fight, but he did explain what was at stake really well.

“If you would ask me, a return bout with Bradley is the most logical choice because Manny (Pacquiao) can easily beat him. It was very obvious during their fight last June,” said Salud. “It’s also an opportunity for him to redeem himself.”

This is half true. Pacquiao doesn’t really need to redeem himself because everyone knows he was the real winner of June 9’s showdown. That said, it would be an easy win, and it would silence the precious few who actually think Bradley legitimately won.

Salud also weighed in on a possible Marquez fight:

“A fourth showdown with Marquez is a big risk because if ever Pacquiao loses, it will surely derail all the plans for a superbout with Floyd Mayweather,” said Salud.

This is entirely true. The odds of Pacquiao losing to Marquez are far greater than the odds of him losing to Bradley. That said, Marquez hasn’t been able to beat the Filipino champ in three tries; would he really have a better chance of doing it on the fourth go-round?

Essentially, like Salud said, this comes down to a battle between logic and risk. Bradley is the logical, safe pick. He guarantees a big payday with minimum chance of a loss. Marquez, on the flip side, is a risky, questionable bet. He’d be the more exciting opponent, but he could cost Pacquiao a lot of money if all doesn’t go according to plan.

We’ll find out what Manny prioritizes above all else soon enough.

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