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All the post-fight talk and media attention seems focused on WBO Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley after he outclassed legendary Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night in Las Vegas, and deservedly so.
For the first time in his career, the undefeated Bradley is receiving the plaudits he thoroughly deserves for a masterful display against the veteran 40-year-old Mexican, with fans and writers alike calling on ‘Desert Storm’ to be the next fighter to take on pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
And that is the major talking point from this fight, what next for Bradley? Well, he could have a rematch and unification bout with IBF Champion Devon Alexander, a man he has already beaten. A match up with Amir Khan which would generate massive interest in the U.S. or he could potentially rematch Manny Pacquaio. There is also the prospect of a mega money fight with Floyd. The world is at Bradley’s feet following the win, but what will Marquez do now?
At 40-years-old, Marquez may not have that much left in the tank, and it certainly seemed like he had aged horribly since his biggest win against Pacquaio last year in losing a split decision to Bradley. In truth it was much more one sided than the judges had it, personally I had it 116-112 in Bradley’s favour, but the judges scored the fight 115-113 for Marquez, 116-112 and 115-113 for Bradley.
Had Marquez won the fight he was a possible opponent for light-welterweight king Danny Garcia, or there was talk of a bout against Amir Khan at Welterweight, but following the defeat to Bradley, do these fights seem further away? Perhaps not. Promoters may look upon Marquez as an opponent for young champions. They may look upon the four division champion as a faded star, someone who may not be able to compete at the highest level any more, but is still a valuable scalp and name to have on the resume.
I think Marquez will fight on, there is no question there, and we may see him in some big fights down the line, but you can bet he won’t be favourite to win anymore.
Let’s not forget that Manny Pacquaio and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum are still clambering for a fifth fight between Pacquaio and Marquez, a fight that Marquez had no interest in before the loss to Bradley. I’m sure that a fifth fight is somewhat more alluring to Marquez now. So don’t be surprised to see the pair in action next year.
So while Bradley remains undefeated, and can pick his next opponent whilst putting his name well and truly in the mix for the Mayweather lottery, Marquez is back to the drawing board. What he does next will be very interesting; can the wily veteran bounce back and put himself back in the title hunt, or will he be a stepping stone for other fighters? Time will tell, and unfortunately Marquez does not have that on his side.