Juan Manuel Marquez to Face Timothy Bradley for Welterweight Title

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2013

Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley Jr. have reportedly agreed to a September 14 fight. ESPN's Dan Rafael broke the news late Tuesday night:

Welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. and Mexican star Juan Manuel Marquez, both known for their history with Manny Pacquiao, are going to fight each other for Bradley's 147-pound world title, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

They are due to meet Sept. 14—Mexican Independence Day weekend, a date that usually is the target for a major fight involving a top Mexican boxer—at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in the main event of an HBO PPV card.

As Rafael alludes to in his article, Bradley and Marquez are Manny Pacquiao's last two opponents, with both coming out victorious. 

Marquez's sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao on December 8, 2012 stunned boxing fans everywhere and immediately thrust the 39-year-old back into the spotlight.

It was against Pacquiao on June 9, 2012 that Bradley won the WBO welterweight title in controversial fashion. In March of this year, he successfully defended his strap against Ruslan Provodnikov in a crowd-pleasing thriller.

When speculation started up on who Marquez's next opponent would be, many fans clamored for a fifth fight between him and Pacquiao. When that talk died down, Bradley's name started gathering steam in the discussion.

In his knockout of Pacquiao, Marquez demonstrated that he has a lot left in the tank. Defeating him decisively would be huge for Bradley's career, particularly considering the widespread belief that he was bested by the Pac-Man in their title bout. 

For Marquez, this represents yet another chance to win a title, which would be his fifth in a new weight class. He is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of our time, and beating Bradley, 10 years his junior, would further embolden his legacy.

Bradley is 30-0 in 31 professional fights, with one no-contest. Marquez is 55-6-1 in his 62 professional career. 


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