HBO has provided training blogs for WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley and four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez in advance of their fight on Oct. 12 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO Pay Per View.
In his last fight in March, Bradley (30-0, 12 knockouts) rose from a 12th-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov in defense of the title he won by split-decision over Manny Pacquiao last June.
Prior to facing Bradley, Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), who turned 40 in August, scored a sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao last December.
BRADLEY: ‘THIS IS MY TIME’
In the blog, Bradley answers the question: Why did you choose Marquez as your next opponent instead of a rematch with Pacquiao?
Bradley: 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. If Manny Pacquiao can beat Brandon Rios in November than maybe we can have our rematch after that fight.
But timing is everything and the time for Bradley vs. Márquez is now. I choose the battles I want to fight and I want to fight Márquez. This is my time.
MARQUEZ: ‘THE PACQUIAO CHAPTER OF MY CAREER IS OVER’
HBO has provided a training blog for Marquez in advance of his fight with Bradley that was submitted on Monday.
In the blog, Marquez answers the question: Question: Why did you choose Bradley as your next opponent instead of a rematch with Pacquiao?
But now that Tim Bradley has that belt, I want it more than ever. I also felt that the fans wanted to see something new. The first two fights with Pacquiao were very close. The third I won easily, and in the fourth I knocked him out cold. So as far as I am concerned, we are done with Pacquiao.
Bradley is a two-time world champion. He is undefeated and brings speed and toughness to his fights. I think the fans will enjoy seeing me take on this type of challenge, and I expect a very tough competitive fight and one that the fans will enjoy and will remember for a long time.
I will be ready to take him on and will train very hard for this fight. I need to be at my very best to beat someone like Tim Bradley. He offers very different challenges then Pacquiao and it will very exciting for me to get ready for a boxer like Tim Bradley.
I want to give the fans something different than another Pacquiao fight. We fought four times, and I believe that the fans enjoyed all of them, and we had a great rivalry. But that is over now. My knockout victory settled everything with him. We now know for sure that I am the better fighter and there is no need for a fifth fight.
It is time for something new. My career has always been about facing the best, and Tim Bradley is considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. I am also in the list of the best pound for pound fighters, so this is a great fight for the fans.
Bradley is going to come at his best. He has shown that he can box and he can brawl, and has defeated some very good boxers in his career, and it will up to me to be ready for him and to prove that I am still one the best. My experience and my intelligence will be very key for this fight.
I believe I have the speed and the strength to beat him, and I will show it on fight night. I just felt the Pacquiao chapter of my career is over after a great knockout victory last year, and fighting Bradley is something new.
He is younger and has a lot of skills and for me it’s a great challenge and for the fans something new to see in my career. I believe this fight will be just as good as any I have had in my career and that is why I am fighting Tim Bradley on Oct. 12, 2013.
VASYL LOMACHENKO DEBUTS IN A 10-ROUNDER ON THE BRADLEY-MARQUEZ CARD
Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, a winner of his second Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London, could fight the winner of the Orlando Salido-Orlando Cruz WBO featherweight title bout should he win his 10-round professional debut on Oct. 12 against hard-hitting Mexican Jose Luis Ramirez at The Thomas and Mack Center.
Lomachenko will face Ramirez (25-3, 15 KOs), a 25-year-old winner of three straight bouts, on the undercard of a main event featuring Bradley against Marquez. Also on the Bradley-Marquez card is a clash of 32-year-olds between Cruz (20-2-1, 10 KOs), a Puerto Rican who represented his country in the 2000 Olympics, and Salido (39-12-2, 27 KOs), a Mexican two-time titleholder.
Calling him “perhaps the greatest amateur fighter of our time,” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum announced last month that Lomachenko wanted to fight for a title in his second professional bout, this, at a time when the former Olympian was slated to appear on the undercard of the Sept. 28 super middleweight bout between former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Brian Vera that will happen at The StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Guillermo Rigondeaux is believed to be the man to have won a title fight in the least amount of professional bouts, capturing the WBA’s bantamweight belt in his eight fight by split-decision over Ricardo Cordoba in November of 2010.
“He lost only one amateur fight, a disputed decision, and won 540 amateur fights,” said Arum of Lomachenko, 25, who signed with Top Rank in July.
“If you want to know how good he is, talk to some of our up-and-coming top rank young fighters who fought him in the amateurs, like Oscar Valdez, Jose Ramirez, and Felix Verdejo. He is something special.”
Lomachenko won the featherweight gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where he was the recipient of the Val Barker Trophy as the event’s Outstanding Boxer.
On the way to winning his second gold medal in the lightweight division in 2012, Lomachenko scored a victory over Puerto Rican Felix Verdejo, who is 7-0 with five knockouts after having signed with Top Rank.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com