Alternative scenarios can sometimes prove more satisfactory for everyone involved. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Top Rank has discussed the possibility of a Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO)-Timothy Bradley (29-0, 12 KO) fight in lieu of Manny Pacquiao’s current indecisiveness about securing an opponent, let alone a fight date.
While such a matchup would effectively take two of the most viable opponents out the running for the November or December date reserved for Pacquiao’s ring return, Marquez-Bradley would promise to be a quality, marketable matchup with major implications for both men.
The fact that Marquez-Bradley seems to have been discussed in detail bodes well for the prospect of the fight getting made. Because of Pacquiao’s vacillating, having a contingency plan in place for all parties involved is essential, and should Marquez and Bradley strike a deal, Pacquiao could still opt for a rematch with Miguel Cotto—the other best and most realistic option at this point.
Obviously, HBO—or any major network, for that matter—would salivate over a Marquez-Bradley bout, and Rafael acknowledges that key players, such as Bradley’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, view the bout as a realistic possibility:
“It's a fight we've been talking about -- me, Bradley, Bob and Todd,” Dunkin said. “They tell me that Marquez and [promoter Fernando] Beltran have been talking about it, too, as a possibility.
“I'm not saying it's happening. What I'm saying is that it's a fight that's very interesting and a fight that everyone seems to love. Manny is the boss with the date and the opponent. It's his call and we're all waiting on him. But if both of these guys [Bradley and Marquez] are free, that's a fight we would love and would go further in pursuit of. And I think Marquez and Beltran feel the same way about fighting Tim. Top Rank told us Marquez is very interested in the fight.”
This is certainly optimistic, and it behooves fans and writers to examine why Marquez-Bradley would be such a compelling fight.