Timothy Bradley could have made more money to rematch Manny Pacquiao this fall, but instead chose to face Juan Manuel Marquez in an October 12 HBO pay-per-view main event. Following an exciting but potentially damaging win earlier this year against Ruslan Provodnikov, Bradley (30-0, 12 KO) discusses with HBO what made him take this route.
Why did you choose Marquez as your next opponent instead of a rematch with Pacquiao?
"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."
24/7 Bradley/Marquez debuts Sat., Sept. 28 on HBO immediately after World Championship Boxing tripleheader.
Bradley vs. Marquez welterweight title fight takes place Sat., Oct. 12 live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT.