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Bradley vs. Marquez: Rematch with Manny Pacquiao Must Be Next for Desert Storm

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  (R-L) Manny Pacquiao lands a right to the head of Timothy Bradley during their WBO welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IOctober 14, 2013

After a split-decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley should take his WBO welterweight title and put it on the line against Manny Pacquiao in a rematch of their June 2012 bout.

That bout, of course, resulted in a controversial decision that gave Bradley a win. No matter who you spoke to after the fight, it was abundantly clear that Pac-Man won, whether it was by a large margin or a narrow one.

However, the judges sitting ringside saw it differently, and the dominance Pac-Man displayed over Desert Storm didn't seem to make a difference to two blind judges at ringside who scored in favor of the challenger.

Sure, Bradley did get serious attention and some hardware after beating Pacquiao last year, but he didn't exactly score any respect points from fans and analysts of the sport. And as long as he keeps going without fighting Pacquiao, he will remain a questionable champion at best.

Also working against Bradley is the fact that the WBO's review of his split decision win over Pacquiao gave the win to Pac-Man even though the result wasn't officially overturned. That further proved Bradley didn't deserve to have his hand raised at the end of the fight, thus making his victory even more of a joke.

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 09:  Timothy Bradley (R) has his hand raised in victory after defeating Manny Pacquiao by split decision to win the WBO welterweight championship at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Kevork Djanse
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

If Bradley desires to be taken seriously, he must give Pacquiao a shot.

Wins over Ruslan Provodnikov and Marquez in his last two fights aren't impressing anyone, and that's especially true when considering how Desert Storm got his belt in the first place.

For Pacquiao, he must pass his first test since being knocked out by Marquez late last year. A fight with Brandon Rios will be a dangerous one for Pac-Man, but if he wins that should set him up for a fight with Bradley.

If and only if he loses, then it can be argued that Pac-Man doesn't deserve any big-time fights, let alone one against Bradley for a championship belt.

Granted, his detractors will say that Pac-Man should fight Marquez again to avenge that particular loss; however, that loss was more a result of a bad matchup for Pac-Man than anything else, and he still holds the edge over Marquez lifetime with a 2-1-1 mark.

What fans really want to see for both fighters is a Bradley-Pacquiao rematch. Supporters of Bradley want to put to bed the argument that Desert Storm shouldn't be the champ, while Pac-Man fans want revenge after the former champion was cheated out of his title the last time around.

The buzz is certainly there for this fight to happen, and that's another major reason why promoter Bob Arum must make this happen. After all, is there really another fight boxing fans want to see that involves Bradley and/or Pacquiao?

Not so much.

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