Even if the majority doesn't believe him, Juan Manuel Marquez continues to say that he will not fight Manny Pacquiao for a fifth time, and that he wants instead to focus on winning a world title at welterweight, which would be the fifth weight class where Marquez has claimed a recognized world title belt.
His target is Timothy Bradley, who holds the WBO belt and just scored a dramatic and exciting win over Ruslan Provodnikov on March 16:
"It motivates me more to look for a fifth divisional championship. I believe that any sportsman or professional wants to achieve certain goals and that's why another belt inspires me more. And what's better than facing an opponent - who for me is a great fighter, tough and difficult, like Timothy Bradley. ... I am not a puppet for anybody. I will not allow myself to move forward based on what a promoter or other people say. ... The surest thing is that there will not be a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao, and yes there will be a fifth championship."
Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO) has been sitting and scouting option since his December knockout of Pacquiao, and has stated several times now that a fifth fight, despite the money involved, is not in his plans.
Bradley (30-0, 12 KO) has said before he'd be happy to fight Marquez, but there could be a catch that Marquez doesn't see here: If Marquez doesn't fight Pacquiao, then Manny will need an opponent. And that opponent could be Timothy Bradley, in a rematch of their extremely controversial 2012 bout. In fact, if Top Rank wanted to put the screws to Marquez for opting to not face Pacquiao, that might be exactly what they try to make happen. Bradley, too, could probably make more money to fight Manny than to fight Marquez, as unfair as that might seem.