Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez climbed the same peak last year, settling on top of Mount Manny Pacquiao with no other fighter in view—besides one another. It made sense, then, for them to meet, Manny's two conquerors together in the same ring to establish primacy, if not in all of boxing, at least in HBO's boxing fiefdom.
For hardcore fans it's a very compelling matchup. Marquez's resume speaks for itself. He's beaten superstars like Marco Antonio Barrera and Joel Casamayor and sent Pacquiao's aura of invincibility crashing to the mat with one solid right hand. Even at 40 years of age, there exists no better counterpuncher in the game.
"You know, Juan Manuel Marquez knows how to fight," said Bradley, according to the Daily Mail. "He's very smart, knows when to fight. With that being said, this will be my toughest fight."
Added Marquez: "Everybody knows me, I don't like talking outside the ring. I talk inside the ring, I talk with my fists on the ring."
Bradley doesn't quite have the same curriculum vitae. His best win, of course, is Pacquiao, but it's a victory shrouded in controversy. But whatever good will he lost with that bogus win, he regained tenfold with his courageous performance against Ruslan Provodnikov earlier this year.
"I've got a win over Pacquiao," Bradley said at Wednesday's final press conference. "If I get a win over Marquez then you can't deny me a place in the Hall of Fame."
It's a matchup that has split the boxing community. When Marquez has struggled in his career, it's been against slick boxers who made the Mexican powerhouse come to them. If Bradley really does get on his bicycle and box, Floyd Mayweather style, things could get interesting for the underdog quickly.
Does the older Marquez have what it takes to chase Bradley for 12 rounds? And can Bradley maintain his discipline for the same 36 minutes? Opinions vary.
Our Bleacher Report experts sound off in the following slides. Whose reasoning seems most valid to you? Let us know in the comments.