By Ryan Maquiñana
On Monday, Manny Pacquiao was quite adamant in his decision to fight Juan Manuel Marquez for the fourth time rather than taking a rematch with Tim Bradley.
“I have nothing to prove against Bradley,” Pacquiao told BoxingScene.com’s Luis Sandoval. “Everyone saw who won the fight. If we fought again, it would be one-sided.”
Bradley’s trainer, Joel Diaz, took exception to those words in an interview with this writer a little over 24 hours later.
“If there was a rematch, Tim would make it more decisive,” said Diaz, who is currently training his brother, former titleholder Julio Diaz, for a bout on Sept. 29. “Manny Pacquiao, he’s already on his way out. He’s not the Pacquiao of three or four years ago. There’s a lot of wear and tear already.”
Pacquiao’s third fight with Marquez last November generated roughly 1.4 million pay-per-view buys, which outsold the estimated 750,000 buys the Filipino superstar did with Bradley in June. While Diaz acknowledged the financial motivation for Pacquiao’s decision, he derided it nonetheless.
“Boxing is a business, and in my opinion, Manny’s going the easy way,” he said. “He’s going around Tim to fight Marquez, who’s 40 years old and didn’t even look good in his last fight. Even though Manny moves forward, he’ll have a ghost behind him, and that’s Tim Bradley.”
In their first meeting, Bradley captured a controversial split decision that most observers felt Pacquiao had won. However, instead of attempting to regain his welterweight title from the man who dethroned him on the cards, Pacquiao agreed to fight Marquez on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“If you’re a champion, and somebody takes something away from you, and you think that they didn’t take it away from you the right way, you know what, let’s do it again,” Diaz said. “I want what you got. What you got belongs to me. But nowadays, it’s a different type of boxing.”
Bradley, who tore ligaments in both feet during his battle with Pacquiao, has recovered and will begin training for his next bout in early October.
“Manny couldn’t do anything to Tim. Tim was hurt in the fourth round, and he still went the whole 12 rounds,” Diaz said. “Supposedly Tim Bradley don’t hit hard, then why couldn’t he wipe him out?”
In the meantime, Diaz discussed Bradley’s potential opponents—Ruslan Provodnikov, Zab Judah, and Lamont Peterson—the latter of whom is still waiting to be reinstated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
“I don’t have a say in that, but Provodnikov—that would be a fight for him, not for Tim,” Diaz said. “Not even Amir Khan, who just got stopped by Danny Garcia. A fight that would make sense for Tim would be Danny Garcia, Andre Berto—someone like that.”
On Monday, social media was abuzz when the Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire reported that Bradley’s promoter, Top Rank, demonstrated a desire to pit their fighter against 147-pound interim beltholder Robert Guerrero, who defeated consensus top 10 welterweight Selcuk Aydin in July.
Diaz, however, was less than enthralled with the matchup, stating: “Guerrero’s making a lot of noise, but we want to take a step forward, not a step back.”
Ryan Maquiñana writes a weekly boxing column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.