Ever since Tim Bradley received a highly controversial decision over Manny Pacquiao last June, his career has been, well, going through some tough times. For one thing, in order to make a fight with Pacquiao possible he had to sign with Top Rank. Top Rank is one of the top promotional companies in the world so on the surface this didn't appear to be a bad move to get a superfight done. However, unfortunately for men like Bradley and Brandon Rios, Top Rank currently has a dearth of talent in the 140, 147-pound divisions.
This has been part of Bradley's undoing lately as he continuously holds out for a mega-fight that simply isn't there. Proposed fights against the likes of Mike Alvarado, Lamont Peterson, and Ruslan Provodnikov came and went. Then, finally, he accepted terms to fight Provodnikov on March 16 live on HBO, nine months after the biggest fight of his career.
One of the men Bradley was very interested in fighting was Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez is, of course, coming off his monster KO win over Pacquiao, and looks to be on his way to another fight with the Filipino icon later this year. Naturally, Bradley feels that he deserves a fight with a star like Marquez after having also defeated Pacquiao. However, Marquez's trainer, Nacho Beristain, has said before that he feels it could be an ugly fight, and the Marquez camp does not seem overly excited for it. For them, it seems, it's basically an eight-figure payday against Pacquiao or bust.
On a recent edition Boxing Scene's audio show, The Boxing Lab, Bradley discussed a little bit more about wanting to fight Marquez. He also mentions he would be open to squaring off with the winner of the Brandon Rios - Mike Alvarado rematch, though he does admit there could be a hiccup in making a fight with Rios.
Here is what Bradley had to say about Beristain in the Boxing Lab interview:
"I think that a fight between myself and Marquez would be a great and entertaining fight. I know Beristain said that it wouldn't be but that just shows that they don't want to fight me. They are making excuses," Bradley explained.
And here is what he said about facing the winner of Rios - Alvarado:
"I will fight any of them guys. The downfall is that Cameron Dunkin is both of our managers so I don't think it would happen. Cameron is a great manager and he wouldn't do anything to put either of us in a bad position," Bradley told the Boxing Lab.
Bradley can accuse the Marquez camp of making excuses if wants, but I think it's very unlikely he ever gets a fight with Marquez. And I don't think Marquez is ducking him or anything (the guy has fought Pacquiao four times and went up two weight classes to fight Floyd Mayweather after all), I just think Marquez is winding down his boxing career. As stated earlier, it seems to be another huge payday against Pacquiao and that's possibly it.
The winner of Rios - Alvarado would be nice. However, as Bradley stated, he and Rios each have the same manager, and that is rarely conducive to getting a fight made. Bradley appears certain in his quote that Dunkin would not want to make the fight. So that stinks.
Anyways, as stated, Bradley has an upcoming fight with Provodnikov next month. Assuming he wins that, where does he go? Pacquiao and Marquez are tied up with each other, he and Rios have the same manager, and Peterson just signed with Golden Boy. It could be another long year for Tim Bradley.