With Bradley-Marquez, Top Rank casts its die


It’s been a pretty terrible week for news outlets breaking stories, so it’s worth going forward with the entire shaker of salt.  Nevertheless, legitimate websites are reporting (not in English, but beggars can’t be choosers) that Timothy Bradley, Jr., he of this month’s face-melter with Ruslan Provodnikov, is set to face Juan Manuel Marquez this September.  The fight, which will presumably take place on Mexican Independence Weekend to take full advantage of Marquez’s native audience, is no less than Bradley has earned thusfar in his career.  Despite struggling to angle himself for a big money fight after his non-loss to Manny Pacquiao, Bradley maintained as strong a record as boxing allows for.  When you keep the “0” after your wins, good things are bound to happen.  In this case, Juan Manuel Marquez is that good thing.

There’s no indication as to whether Bradley’s handlers or Top Rank can take credit for steering this ship to port, but conventional wisdom dictates Bradley’s camp wanting this more than Top Rank honcho Bob Arum.  This fight would unquestionably be a pay-per-view, which would demand that Marquez be the major selling point to potential buyers.  Marquez is certainly up to the task, but Bradley is an unknown quantity when it comes to generating money.  Attributing any of the Bradley-Pacquiao pay-per-view success to Bradley is akin to crediting Mean Gene Okerlund with the rise of WrestleMania.  While you and I will certainly get excited about this fight, it’s hard to envision broader non-Mexican appeal that Top Rank would prefer on what is traditionally a strong pay-per-view weekend.

That said, I imagine Top Rank isn’t all that frustrated by this matchup.  Bob Arum is one of the great protectionists in sports, and Juan Manuel Marquez stands to benefit from that.  Much though I salute Bradley’s work, specifically his most recent effort, he is not the cash cow or the preternatual talent of his stablemates.  Despite beating his last two opponents, he did so with distinct difficulty.  Top Rank knows that viewers need a pause before diving into Pacquiao-Marquez V, which is plainly Arum’s desire for May 2014.  Marquez could do to polish his resume in the interim, and sullying Timothy Bradley’s pristine record is as good a feather to put in the cap as is available for a Top Rank welterweight.

And make no mistake about it, Top Rank would prefer Marquez win this fight.  He’s the proven pay-per-view star, the biggest Mexican presence in their arsenal, and arguably their best fighter at the moment.  So long as Marquez continues to look good against top competition, Bob Arum will continue doing Bob Arum things and the boxing sun will set in the West.  The double down on Bradley as something of a paper tiger isn’t a terrible bet, but it’s already burnt Top Rank once.  Should they lose again, they’ll probably pretend none of it ever happened and just go ahead with Pacquiao-Marquez V anyway in a WWE-style “Loser Must Retire” event.

While such stipulations are highly presumptuous (and, let’s get real, not happening), a Bradley-Marquez fight is less so.  The fight makes sense from all angles, some moreso than others.  Anything can happen when various promotional agendas run aground of one another, but I would bet this fight gets announced sooner rather than later to the contentment of all involved.

10 Comments on With Bradley-Marquez, Top Rank casts its die

  1. If this fight happens, it will sell in the medical world as the best cure for insomniacs, hahahahahahaha!!!!

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  2. Bulanglang // April 21, 2013 at 3:24 am // Reply

    These two are both boring fighters, we all can see that, so a fight between them will ba a hard sell. They only get proper notice when they fight Pacquiao. But maybe another controversy of a speculated PEDs involvement in a Heredia training regiment–whose help which I assume Marquez will enlist again–might just draw the curiousity of boxing followers and follow the consummation of the event/match if only thru the vine, in internet. Other than that, boxing officianados would be clinging to their hard-earned moolahs despite the hype that Arum will try to generate about this potential bout.

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  3. This will be a sure SNOREFEST.
    Both Bradley and Marquez are counterpunchers and will wait for each other all night for whoever will punch first. Neither both of them are PPV kings so
    PPV sales will be like 200,000 at the most.

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  4. it would be a battle of a counter puncher and a wheeler, tell me how exciting it can be….it will be another rigo vs donaire. only a purist can appreciate it,but individual like me i want to see blood and K.O’s

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  5. im willing to bet this fight will not happen for the following reasons:

    1.) Bob wouldn’t make too much money out of it simply because marquez wanted to fight in september 14, a date in which mayweather is reported to have his own fight also. Marquez going head to head with mayweather on PPV sharing is business suicide.

    2.) Manny needed a viable opponent for October in Macau. and I mean VIABLE, SELLABLE, MARKETABLE. Remember this is THE flagship fight of Top rank’s foothold on Macau, so they really need to sell a good matchup for this one. Pitting Manny against Mike Alvarado wouldn’t do as well as Pacquiao – Bradley 2 – which has history, controversy, with a revenge factor for manny pitched in – all makes for an easier promotional assignment for Top Rank.

    3.) Bradley wouldn’t make as much money fighting marquez as he would fighting pacquiao. Bradley would be very lucky to get 2 million from the Marquez fight, while Pacquiao is offering him 6 million (with an additional incentive to allow bradley to keep his title win or lose). So even if Bradley loses, the hopes of a Marquez fight is still alive as marquez is really aching to get another belt. It doesn’t take a genius to figure which one is better.

    chances are Marquez will have to wait for his turn for the title and wait for Pacquiao and Bradley to get done.

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  6. w/o that heredia drugs this talk would have been nothing…manny could have knocked marquez and he shud have been gone forever w/o dos drugs…and pacquiao cud have 2 more fyts with or w/o floyd gayweather and retires…dos drugs heredian blocked the real winners in sport!..

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  7. Bulanglang // April 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    This bout will sell better if it’s a contest about who shows more abs and greater, chiseled body after “rigorous training; a 39 year-old peewee or a much younger back-pedaler?

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  8. Bulanglang // April 21, 2013 at 3:13 pm // Reply

    If this fight goes thru despite all indications that it would not, and marquez lost, how would bradley the wheeler handle marquez’s “I got robbed” accusation and mantra? just curious.

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  9. Look I’m a white anglo saxon American married to a Filipina . I watched boxing alot back when Leonard and Frazier were fighting . I actually liked American boxers then , but then we got bumms like Tyson and Mayweather so I lost intrest .
    After being in my wife’s country a good bit I got caught up in the Paquiao thing !
    So for me Marquez and Bradley are bumms !
    In my eye there’s nothing to be gained except dollars for them to fight . The only thing I can see for them to do is fight Paquiao .
    Let Bradley loose like he did in the first fight with Paquiao and let that juiced up wetback face Pac again , I would wager a LARGE amount the wetback will not get another lucky shot like he did in the 4th fight !

    Go Paquiao and Donaire !

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  10. Marquez is acting like he is the big deal right now, wait until these two guys wake up to their reality. Only Manny can give top dollars for these two illusionists.

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