Juan Manuel Marquez expects Pacquiao vs Bradley II to happen, but would be open to facing the winner after that. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
On Sunday morning, I put together a quick piece on the "real" winners and losers from Saturday night's Pacquiao vs Bradley debacle in Las Vegas, and noted that one of the two big losers on the night wasn't involved in the card at all, other than he sat ringside.
That would be Juan Manuel Marquez, who figured to be lined up for a fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao this November, had Pacquiao won as most expected, and won as most believe he really did.
Here's what I said on Sunday:
Juan can forget about a fourth Manny fight this year. And if Manny beats Bradley in November, they might just fight again in spring 2013, so Juan can forget about it until November 2013, perhaps. Marquez is turning 39 in August. His entire boxing existence right now is built around a fight with Manny Pacquiao. There are lots of challenges he could take at 140 pounds, but I don't expect him to look for those. So it kind of makes Marquez oddly irrelevant considering he's still such a great fighter.
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO) seems to pretty much realize this is the case, and that right now he's a great fighter with a career in limbo. But he's keeping his name in the mix anyway, as he tells Ryan Burton that he'd gladly fight the winner of the probable Pacquiao-Bradley rematch after November.
"I have to accept the result from the fight and move on with my career. ... Bradley is now the (WBO) champion at 147 pounds while I am now elevated to the (WBO) champion at super lightweight. So we will wait and see what happens in the rematch on November 10th. If Bradley wins then why not have a fight between him and myself at welterweight?"
Marquez fought on April 14, easily beating Serhiy Fedchenko in Mexico, and was primed to return on July 14 at Cowboys Stadium, but that rather predictably won't be happening. He says he's looking at a July 21 date, again in Mexico, but nothing has really been seriously discussed, as far as anyone can tell.
Whatever Marquez does, his next fight might be another tune-up/stay-busy/easy affair, and then he could look for a significant fight late this year. He's turning 39 in August, so it's not like he's getting younger, and while certainly the fight he most wanted was a Pacquiao bout, there are potential money fights at 140, catchweight, or 147 for him.
Honestly, if the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch doesn't happen, either due to lack of interest or whatever else, he'd be a marvelous option for Manny ... or for Tim Bradley. Don't weep for him just yet. He should wind up in play for a big fight at some point this year.