Timothy Bradley could have made more money to rematch Manny Pacquiao this fall, but instead chose to face Juan Manuel Marquez in an October 12 HBO pay-per-view main event. Following an exciting but potentially damaging win earlier this year against Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley (30-0, 12 KO) discusses with HBO what made him take this route.
While this is probably leaping far past any realistic expectations — because we’re talking about some truly great fights here — the idea that Bradley vs Marquez will be a war gained some steam when Bradley went toe-to-toe with Ruslan Provodnikov in March, in what may be the best fight of the year to date. Marquez, as he has slowed down somewhat (and bulked up quite a bit), has become a fighter more willing to take risks and rely on his power and his chin to push him through, as well as his still-great counter-punching ability.
Will this be a Fight of the Year contender? Maybe, maybe not, but when the Bradley vs Marquez idea first came up in 2012, I don’t think the chances for a great fight seemed nearly as high as they do now. If Bradley comes out to once again please the fans, and Marquez is ready to brawl like he says he is, then we could have a really terrific fight on our hands.
I have always been more interested in looking for new challenges than in doing what has been expected. Though I was offered a rematch with Manny Pacquiao in Macau, the opportunity to fight another legend of my era Juan Manuel Márquez had far more appeal to me for several reasons.
“Márquez is a boxing legend and a Méxican icon. He is coming off a career-best victory over his professional nemesis Manny Pacquiao. I am coming off my two career-best victories — over Pacquiao and Ruslan Provodnikov. It just made sense for me to fight Márquez next. Bradley vs. Márquez — a battle between the only two fighters to have beaten Manny Pacquiao in the past seven years. It got me excited as a fighter and as a fan. It was a no-brainer for me.
“Challenges are what I am all about. They invigorate me. And the chance to fight Márquez in front of his legion of loyal Hispanic fans? Heck, I’m riding that wave. I live for a fight like this. He wants to make history by being the first Méxican fighter to win five world titles in five different weight divisions. Chávez, Morales and Barrera never did that. I know he wants to make history. But I want to make my own history and beating Márquez and denying him of his ultimate goal, in the boxing capital of the world, will do just that.
24/7 Bradley vs Marquez debuts Sat., Sept. 28 on HBO immediately after World Championship Boxing tripleheader.