In 2012, Manny Pacquiao lost his first two fights in over seven years. Now, the boxers that beat him are set to have a bout of their own.
Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez will meet on Saturday for the WBO Welterweight title. Bradley took the belt from Pacquiao 16 months ago. Seven months prior, Marquez failed in his attempt to get the belt off Pac-Man.
Bradley last stepped inside the ring inon Mar. 13, when he defended his title against Ruslan Provodnikov. The champ won in a unanimous decision, but narrowly escaped an upset. He was knocked down in the final round, but managed to get up and secure the victory.
Marquez hasn’t fought since he defeated Pacquiao almost a year ago. He knocked out his rival in the sixth round, earning him the 55th win of his 20-year career.
Despite being 10 years Bradley’s senior, Marquez is favored in the bout. He’s coming off the best fight of his career, and his opponent still has something to prove. Bradley’s split decision over Pacquiao victory was very controversial, with almost every expert awarding the bout to Pac-Man.
The fighting styles of the two could make for one of the most exciting bouts of 2013. In his first fight against Pacquiao, Marquez was knocked down three times in the first round. Bradley has also shown a tendency to be reckless. He traded punches with Provodnikov, and the same could happen on Saturday. A long fight will likely favor Bradley. Only 12 of his 30 victories have come via knockout, while 73 percent of Marquez’s wins have been KO’s.
Both Marquez and Bradley were offered a big payday for a rematch with Pacquiao. However, they decided to take less money and fight each other. The 40-year-old is guaranteed to make $6 million, while Bradley will net $4.1 million.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum recently told BoxingScene.com that he expects the event to do between 350,000 and 450,000 Pay-Per View buys. Last month, the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez generated the most revenue ever with 2.2 million buys.
Betting Odds: Marquez-150, Bradley+120
Total Rounds: Over 9.5 (-350), Under 9.5 (+230)
Tale of the Tape
Record: 30-0, 12 KO’s
Juan Manuel Marquez
Record: 55-6-1, 40 KO’s