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Manny Pacquiao vs Tim Bradley 2? Why 'Desert Storm' chose Juan Manuel Marquez instead

Lee Cleveland Updated
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On October 12, WBO Welterweight Champion Tim Bradley will face 40 year old, top 5 pound-for-pound opponent Juan Manuel Marquez, a sure first ballot hall of famer. Marquez vs Bradley features a match-up between the two fighters who defeated the great Manny Pacquiao in 2012 yet, in many ways, still live in his shadow.

Tim Bradley, the fighter dubbed 'Desert Storm,' was the beneficiary of what many consider a grand robbery in a bout that rendered one of the most controversial decisions ever.

There was no questioning Marquez's win as he ended matters with a thudding right hand. However, it was Juan Manuel who appeared on the verge of getting knocked out prior to landing that massive counter shot.

Advocates for Manny Pacquiao will assert one fella was gifted while the other got lucky. Regardless of public perception, neither fighter's stature rose considerably following their monumental wins over the legendary PacMan.

It's believed both fighters had the opportunity to face Pacquiao in another high-profile match.

Given an early, if not immediate, rematch with Pacquiao would have been Tim Bradley's most lucrative option, why is he fighting Juan Manuel Marquez instead?

"Money isn't everything," said their promoter, Top Rank's Bob Arum via Jake Donovan at BoxingScene." And let's face it; it's not like they're nor fighting for peanuts. Legacy is important for Timothy and Juan Manuel. Timothy wants Marquez' scalp. Marquez wants to be the first to win world titles in five weight classes."

WBO Welterweight Champion Tim Bradley added:

"There's two things. Going to China is one. The money wasn't substantially out of this world to go to China."

"Two, Marquez is 40 and on his way out of the game. I felt I could beat him three years ago. I wanted a crack at him before he gets out of the game."

The Provodnikov Fight
Although Bradley was offered a fight in December 2012, he chose to wait due to the depression he suffered caused by the undeserved public resentment towards him following his controversial June 2012 win over Manny Pacquiao.

Timothy Bradley, however, after all of the public disdain in the aftermath of the Pacquiao fight, made believers of some following his courageous, crowd-pleasing title defense against the hard-punching Ruslan Provodnikov in March - a Fight of the Year candidate.

Bradley Provodnikov 130316 002a-300x201

"The Ruslan Provodnikov fight did some justice as to where I fit in the boxing game. I figured, let's go to the light and take this fight. Then we can go back and revisit the dark side, Bradley told BoxingScene."

"I felt at the time, I wasn't ready to go back to the Pacquiao fight. After the Pacquiao fight, I was in the dark (with the public). After the Ruslan Provodnikov fight, I was in the light. I want to stay in the light."

"Both Pacquiao and Marquez are Hall Of Fame fighters. I want both those names."Bradley knows wins in consecutive years over two top 5 pound-for-pound fighters who also happen to be fight legends would certainly give him bragging rights and added leverage in negotiations for future bouts.

Smart move - and a courageous one. If Bradley loses to Marquez it all backfires.

But if Timothy Bradley defeats Marquez later this month and Manny Pacquiao is successful against Brandon Rios November 23, don't be surprised if Pacquiao vs Bradley 2 is announced soon thereafter as a win over Juan Manuel Marquez would give legitimacy to a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch which may finally generate the buzz worthy of a true superfight.

Bradley vs Provodnikov Highlights - 1:22


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