Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: Is Manny Leaning Towards Juan Manuel Marquez?

| by Alex Groberman

With the announcement of who Manny Pacquiao will fight next supposedly just around the corner, speculation about what the champ’s main motivation will be is at an all time high.

Some are suggesting that for Pacquiao, at this point, it’s all about pride. That he’ll fight Timothy Bradley just to right last June’s wrong. Others, however, are taking a more practical approach. They’re pointing to the paltry numbers that Pacquiao-Bradley reportedly did, and noting that it makes far more business sense for a fourth showdown versus Juan Manuel Marquez.

Recently, in a piece he wrote for The Examiner, Chris Robinson reaffirmed the increasingly popular sentiment that Marquez may get the call for this November (or December, depending on who listen to). Via his report:

After much uncertainty regarding Manny Pacquiao's return to the ring, it looks like we might be back where we first started, with Mexico City's Juan Manuel Marquez having the edge for another crack at the Filipino icon inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 10th.

Pacquiao edged Marquez via a highly-debatable majority-decision last November in another tense battle that could have gone either way, as was the case in their first two duels. Pacquiao surrendered his WBO welterweight crown to unbeaten Timothy Bradley on June 9th in a fight he appeared to clearly win, and despite having a strong desire to avenge that defeat, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has constantly hinted that a rematch doesn't make economical sense at this point.

The decision regarding Pacquiao’s next opponent was said to be coming down on Monday, but that’s as specific as anyone has gotten. Both Bradley and Arum, in various interviews, pointed towards this week as being the week when we’d get a final word – but who knows if it will actually happen or not.

It’s a little puzzling that this whole process has moved as slowly as it has. On its face, this seemed like a fairly simple decision. Invoke the rematch clause and fight Bradley, or don’t and fight Marquez. There was very little room for creativity. And yet, here we are, all these weeks later without an opponent for the Filipino champ.

We’ll see what happens over the next few days, though. Stay tuned – if a decision comes down the wire, we’ll be sure to get it to you ASAP.

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