Manny Pacquiao has a big fight coming up this November, but before he gets into the ring with Brandon Rios, he’ll have the pleasure of watching the two guys who opted to duck him beat the stuffing out of one another.
While Juan Manuel Marquez-Timothy Bradley hasn’t officially gotten a date yet, mostly because all involved are waiting to see what Floyd Mayweather Jr. decides to do, early reports indicate that they’re looking to do their thing in September. Given that Marquez has been off since this past December and Bradley’s most recent showdown came in the middle of March, an end-of-yearish match-up makes sense.
Both Marquez and Bradley were given the opportunity to fight Pacquiao, but both ultimately decided against it. Marquez passed on the biggest payday of his career in order to avoid a fifth fight against his arch rival, and Bradley rejected a pretty hefty proposal as well as the opportunity to redeem himself after beating Pacquiao via fluke.
During a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, attempted to justify the decision to fight Marquez.
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“Why wait when you can fight someone of Marquez’s stature?” he said. “Who knows how things with Manny would have played out? But Tim wanted Marquez, and it’s going to be a great fight.”
Dunkin also noted that Marquez “is a future Hall of Famer and a great fighter in his own right,” and insinuated that this bout will be better than Pacquiao-Bradley II would have been.
The funny thing is: Dunkin might be right. It’s impossible to say how much Pacquiao still has in his tank. Maybe Bradley would’ve destroyed his Filipino rival on this go-round. We’ll never know. And that’s the problem. Bradley passed on a bigger paycheck, more PPV sales and a chance to make everyone forget the fact that the judges handed him a victory over Pacquiao that nobody thought he deserved, for no apparent reason other than disliking the guy.
Pacquiao is too far down the line to fight either of these fellas again. If he beats Rios, he’ll likely take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. next. If he doesn’t, he’ll retire. But regardless, he’ll be keeping a close eye on how Marquez-Bradley turns out, knowing full well that both of them were given the opportunity to fight him and chose to go in a different direction instead.
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Source: Las Vegas Review Journal