x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Juan Manuel Marquez set to snub Manny Pacquiao rematch in favour of facing Tim Bradley

The Mexican, who defeated Pacquiao with a stunning sixth round knockout in December, is reportedly set to face the man who took the WBO welterweight title from the Filipino in controversial circumstances last summer.

Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez promoting their 2011 bout.  Plans for a fifth fight this year are now in doubt.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez promoting their 2011 bout. Plans for a fifth fight this year are now in doubt.

Plans for Manny Pacquiao to return to the ring for a fifth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez have taken a blow after the Mexican opted to fight Pacquiao's previous foe Tim Bradley, according to reports today.

The Filipino star had been expected to take on Marquez, who handed Pacquiao a stunning sixth round defeat late last year, in another rematch this December - with Dubai among the locations linked with staging the fight.

But now reports from the US claim that Marquez will face Bradley, who controversially beat Pacquiao in June last year to take his WBO welterweight title.

The bout between Marquez and Bradley, for that WBO title, is planned for September 14 in Las Vegas, according to promoter Bob Arum.

"Marquez wanted to fight Bradley and Bradley wanted to fight Marquez," Arum told the LA Times.

Arum said the major stumbling block to a fifth Marquez-Pacquiao matchup was the Filipino fighter insisting it be staged in Macau or Singapore, where he could avoid a 40 per cent tax on his prize money.

"Marquez isn't convinced Marquez-Pacquiao in Asia will result in the pay-per-view money being as strong," Arum said.

Marquez, 55-6 with one draw and 40 knockouts, has not fought since beating Pacquiao. Bradley, 30-0 with 12 knockouts, comes off a unanimous but narrow title defence over Russia's Ruslan Provodnikov last month.

The fight leaves a hole in Pacquiao's schedule now, with the 54-5-2 fighter considering a bout against either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios, the promoter claimed. That bout is likely to take place in the Far East rather than Dubai.

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