After a unanimous decision defeat to Manny Pacquiao and losing his WBO welterweight title belt Saturday night in Las Vegas, Timothy Bradley looks to recover as a boxer in his prime and get back to a title shot.
There were plenty of question marks from Desert Storm's first win over Pacman that the former champ ultimately wasn't able to put to rest. Bradley was on an even level with Pacquiao throughout the middle rounds, but the 35-year-old's experience started to shine through and a reeling Bradley wasn't able to get back on track.
However, with wins over Juan Manuel Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov along with a 31-1 overall record that just saw its first blemish, Bradley is still seen as one of the world's best boxers. It shouldn't be tough for him to land a fight against another one of the world's best.
Anything is possible in the world of boxing. For this reason, let's take a look at a few alternative matches that would be thrilling to watch regardless of how likely they are to go down.
Although this might have to come down to a catchweight, it would be quite interesting to see the two fighters go head-to-head.
Danny Garcia has torn through the light welterweight division, defeating a number of talented individuals on his path to a title. However, he looked off his game against Mauricio Herrera, escaping with just a majority decision.
It is clear that Garcia is not unbeatable and simply needs to face tougher challenges going forward.
Bradley would certainly represent a higher level of competition with a skillful fighter who has the strength advantage. On the other hand, Garcia actually has the height advantage and could use it to make himself a tougher target.
These two fighters know how to win, and this bout would help define which competitor could take the next step into the spotlight.
Despite the loss to Floyd Mayweather, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has proved that he is already a star. The 23-year-old boxer bounced back from his first career loss with a win over Alfredo Angulo.
Surprisingly, this generated a great deal of revenue, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com:
Many wondered if Alvarez, carrying a pay-per-view by himself for the first time and coming off a resounding defeat, would still generate enough fan interest to warrant becoming a PPV regular as he envisions. After the returns came in for the fight with Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs) on Friday, the answer is a resounding yes.
Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions announced that the pay-per-view generated "well over 350,000 buys" for Alvarez's one-sided 10th-round knockout of his Mexican countryman. The pay-per-view grossed at least $20 million.
This proved that Alvarez is close to becoming the type of star that can generate excitement against anyone. Imagine what would happen in a bout against Bradley—a well-known fighter looking for a big stage to reassert himself as an elite boxer.
Not only would this be a battle of two stars looking to burst into the spotlight, but each competitor is very technically sound with the ability to beat almost anyone in the world.
Although the Desert Storm would have to put on some weight, he has the ability to handle a tough challenger in an effort to prove himself to the world.
Juan Manuel Marquez
He'll have to hope that he's not picked over by Pacquiao, but if Pacman or Juan Manuel Marquez opt not to have a fifth and final match between them, Bradley is a very likely candidate for Marquez.
The 40-year-old Marquez is mulling retirement, but that could change with the prospect of fighting either Pacquiao or Bradley. In fact, Marquez was targeting the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley II back in February, per Yahoo! Sports' Carlo Pamintuan.
Marquez obviously wouldn't choose Bradley over a title shot with Pacquiao. But should Pacman fight someone else for his next bout, Marquez could view fighting Bradley as a stepping stone to a title shot—if he's looking to extend his career like that.
These two fighters have history, as they took the ring in October 2013 in what ended up as a split-decision loss for Marquez—another controversial one. The chance at exacting revenge on Bradley, just like Pacman did Saturday night, could spur Marquez to step back into the ring.
Their contrasting styles of fighting made for an exciting bout between them the first time around, and there's no doubt that they would put on another show if the rematch happened.
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