Timothy Bradley isn't pleased with Manny Pacquiao's decision to fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time on December 8, as it means Bradley will miss out on a rematch payday and chance to beat Pacquiao for a second time -- many would say first.
Bradley told The Desert Sun that he "can't believe" Pacquiao chose to pass him over to face Marquez again:
"I can't believe these guys. He didn't want any part of me. Marquez is an easier fight. He knows that a fight with me and two good legs is going to be hell. I can't believe it. Any champion who lost his belt, you would want to redeem yourself."
... "What the public needs to know is Pacquiao, their No. 1 dude, doesn't care about his loss. You need to redeem yourself because Tim Bradley beat you. You need to come back and redeem that loss. In my eyes, chicken shit, chicken, chicken, chicken. I'm too much for these boys, man."
Bradley's insistence that Pacquiao is scared of the rematch is nothing new, as he's been pushing that for weeks at this point. Honestly, I think Bradley has probably been at least partially sure for a while that Pacquiao wasn't going to be looking his way again in 2012, and that his controversial June win over the Filipino icon wasn't going to lead to the rematch that was initially expected.
I do feel bad for Timothy Bradley in that he basically was at the mercy of whatever Pacquiao chose, and couldn't reasonably go out and make a different fight without Manny turning him down officially. It was too big, too much money. Nothing else Tim Bradley can do right now comes close to the scale of a Pacquiao rematch.
Dan Rafael reports that Top Rank wants to bring Bradley back on HBO in November or December. There had been talk of Bradley vs Marquez, but that's not happening, obviously. There had also been talk of Bradley facing Lamont Peterson in a rematch, but Peterson is now negotiating a fight with Zab Judah, which has been ordered by the sanctioning body that let him keep their title despite a failed drug test.
So what can Bradley do? There isn't much at welterweight for him when you eliminate Golden Boy fighters, and there isn't much to come up from 140, either. Honestly, he's kind of screwed here as far as finding a good opponent goes.
Bob Arum would like to have Bradley fight in New York, but Bradley wants to fight in Southern California, so he can be "close to his fans."
I admit that's harsh and all, but come on, we all remember the "crowds" for Bradley's fights at the Agua Caliente.
For real, though, I feel for Bradley. He got strung along even though it was pretty apparent for a while he wasn't getting this fight, and he couldn't do anything for his own career. So now he has to talk and hope that he faces the winner sometime next spring. He needs some kind of fight this fall or winter to not vanish from the public's mind. He got a raw deal here, I think, but it's also not anyone else's fault that the divisions around him are shallow when promoter beefs are taken into account.