ESPNdeportes.com is reporting that Juan Manuel Marquez has confirmed a Sept. 14 clash with WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley, although Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, who would be the promoter of the fight, has declined comment.
Bradley (30-0, 12 knockouts) rose from a 12th-round knockdown for last month’s close unanimous decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) in defense of the title he won by disputed split-decision over Manny Pacquiao last June.
Marquez stopped Pacquiao in the sixth-round in their fourth bout last December. The bout was chosen as Fight of The Year by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America and THE RING magazine.
Arum had informed RingTV.com last week of plans to meet with Bradley, Marquez and Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, with the goal of selecting a September opponent for Pacquiao by no later than this past Sunday.
Although neither Koncz nor Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, could be reached for comment, Bradley expressed the desire to face either Marquez or Pacquiao during an interview last week with RingTV.com.
“To be honest with you, I want Juan Manuel Marquez. I want the guy that beat Manny Pacquiao. Two guys that beat Manny, you know, let’s go at it. Let’s settle it. I’m hearing that Marquez wants to fight me through the grape vine. He wants to fight me? Then stop selling wolf tickets, man. I’m not wolfin.’ Let’s do it. Let’s talk. Get in contact with my people and let’s make the fight happen,” said Bradley.
“If that’s something that he wants to do, then get in contact with my people and let’s exercise that. Let’s do it. What are you waiting on? If he wants me to be the next one, then, hey, I’m all for it. He’s a great champion and a great warrior, and I would love the opportunity to have a shot at one of the best fighters, pound-for-pound, if not, one of the best fighters ever. Marquez. That’s a better fight for me. A way better fight for me. Marquez is a way better fight for me because he’s the fighter that knocked out Pacquiao, you know what I mean.
“So if you’ve got the two guys who beat Pacquiao going at it, let’s see who the best is. I know after the Provodnikov fight, a lot of people are going to bet against me, but let me tell you this, you can bet against me, but you’re going to lose your money again. I’m letting you know. You’re going to lose your money again. Stay tuned, the next couple of months, we might put something together. You never know.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org