Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will likely face off again this November. The official announcement hasn’t come yet and it probably won’t come for a while, but we all know it’s inevitable.
Sources close the Filipino champ have indicated that there is a “99 percent” chance of it happening. Bradley seems open to the idea. The fight comes with a built-in, already-made sellable storyline. Barring something unforeseen happening within the next few weeks, we will get a sequel to a bout nobody wanted to see all that much the first time around.
It didn't have to be like this.
You’ll recall back on June 9, in the immediate aftermath of the shockingly awful decision that gave Bradley his win over Pacquiao, Top Rank boss Bob Arum came out and said that he didn’t want a rematch. He all but explicitly stated that he didn’t feel as though Bradley, a guy from his stable of fighters, deserved it.
And he was right.
Pacquiao landed more punches than Bradley. He landed those punches more accurately than Bradley. He hit harder than Bradley. He did more damage throughout the fight than Bradley. He won more rounds than Bradley in the eyes of every right-minded individual on the planet.
Bradley didn’t deserve his first shot at Pacquiao – he got it because it was (allegedly) an unspoken part of the reason he signed with Top Rank. But even the precious few who believed that he deserved his first match against Bradley know that he doesn't deserve a rematch.
Back when it appeared as though Pacquiao-Bradley part deux wasn’t going to happen, Juan Manuel Marquez emerged as a likely candidate for the Filipino champ’s looming November fight. He made it clear that he was interested, but he waited patiently for Pacquiao, Arum and the rest of Top Rank to come to the right decision on their own.
As his promoter Fernando Beltran acknowledged during an interview with Philboxing – they’re still waiting.
“We are waiting for Manny Pacquiao because Manny Pacquiao is coming back and he is going to decide if he is going to fight Marquez or if he fights Bradley,” said Beltran.
“Honestly, Pacquiao and Marquez was a close fight. The other one (Pacquiao-Bradley), was not even a close fight,” emphasized Beltran. “That is what the people want to see and what the people want t see him rematch with. Everybody thought that Marquez won or at least it is even. The media was seventy percent Marquez, thirty percent Pacquiao,".
And then Beltran dropped the hammer:
“If Pacquiao wants to prove that he is still in the highest level, he needs to fight Marquez."
But the fight would have be in Mexico City, right? Marquez needs that home ring advantage if he was to agree to a bout against Pacquiao, right?
“No, No, No,” said Beltran. “If he wants it done in the Philippines, we will fight in the Philippines.”
So, to recap: Marquez is willing to agree to just about any terms, he’s accurately pointing out that he would give Pacquiao a better/more entertaining fight, and they’ve been waiting patiently this whole time for a fair shot.
Yet we still can't get Pacquiao-Marquez IV. Amazing.