by Chris Robinson
We are hours away from boxing’s next huge event, tonight’s Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley showdown in Las Vegas, Nevada. Again fighting inside of the MGM Grand, Pacquiao will look to successfully defend his WBO welterweight belt against the durable and ambitious Bradley, an undefeated junior welterweight champion moving up in weight for the fight.
There is no shortage of boxing luminaries in the city, possibly none more interested in how the fight is going to play out than Pacquiao’s longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Three times the Mexico City legend has gone to war with Pacquiao, in May of 2004, March of 2008, and most recently this past November, and every fight was thrilling and controversial in some manner.
Despite being a huge underdog in the third bout of his trilogy with Pacquiao, Marquez boxed beautifully and had great success landing counter punches throughout the fight. And despite not getting the decision come the end of the fight, Marquez is still a major player in the sport and very well could be landing a fourth fight with Pacquiao later in the year.
Giving his prediction on the fight, Marquez isn’t selling Bradley short but feel the Palm Springs, California native’s power, as he had registered just 12 stoppages in his 28 victories, will be his undoing.
“Bradley is very smart, very quick. The problem is Bradley don’t have power. I think Pacquiao will win the fight by decision,” Marquez told me after yesterday’s Pacquiao-Bradley weigh-ins.
Those in the sport know all too well of Marquez’s slight obsession with Pacquiao over the years and it’s understandable that he hasn’t completely gotten over the judges’ verdicts in each of their bouts.
“In those three fights, I think they robbed me,” Marquez said of his history with Pacquiao. “Everybody watching the fights, the people say the same.”
Marquez was looking at a July 14th return at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas and names such as Erik Morales, Mercito Gesta, Brandon Rios, and Zab Judah all surfaced as possible foes.
Ultimately the entire card would be scrapped after Marquez was unable to select an opponent and he is unsure whether or not he will pursue some kind of summer return or head straight for another Pacquiao clash, given that the Filipino stalwart is successful against Bradley tonight.
“I don’t know. Right now I’m training and maybe I will fight July 21st,” Marquez revealed.