Home Columns The ongoing Pacquiao-Bradley-Marquez triangle, and why Marquez gets the short end again

The ongoing Pacquiao-Bradley-Marquez triangle, and why Marquez gets the short end again

Credit: Chris Farina - Top Rank

Will Marquez Really Get the Pacquiao-Bradley II Winner?

Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, and Juan Manuel Marquez are now officially playing out a round-robin welterweight tournament. All three have met each other in the ring at least once, with Pacquiao set for a rematch with Bradley this April, and the winner of that match set to face the winner of Marquez vs. Mike Alvarado.

Assuming that Marquez defeats Alvarado, sorry “Mile High”, it continues the clashing between these three fighters. It’s a good turnaround as such things go, as all three are aggressive, but each represents a fundamentally different approach to boxing: Pacquiao the lightning bolt puncher; Marquez the gritty counter-puncher; and Bradley the hard-headed offensive stylist.

Yet there is one thing about this pugilistic triangle that doesn’t satisfy, and that is how the way it has unfolded has once again left Juan Manuel Marquez, the reigning king of Mexican boxing, getting the pointy end of things. After all Marquez is the guy with the best record in the trio’s current rivalry, and if he doesn’t have Pacquiao’s star power, he certainly equals or exceeds that of Bradley.

The Pacquiao-Bradley-Marquez Triangle

Even many sports fans outside of boxing know of the bitter rivalry between Pacman and Dinamita. Prior to their recent, welterweight days, the two sluggers went 0-1-1 from Marquez’s point of view, with the loss as contested and controversial as the draw. But that was years ago.

On the recent, side of their quadrology, the record is 1-1, with Marquez’s win a career-defining knockout and Pacquiao’s win another hotly contested, controversial decision. Against Bradley, Marquez dropped another Split Decision that could have potentially gone his way, although it was not as controversial as either of the two losses in the Pacquiao quadrology.

Against this, Timothy Bradley owns an even more controversial win over Pacquiao, one that many regarded as the stinkiest decision of 2012. Furthermore, Bradley is clearly in third place in terms of the star power pecking order. There’s no question that both Pacquiao and Marquez remain bigger names.

Marquez Gets The Short End, Again

Leaving aside that Marquez can’t seem to ever catch a break from the judges, it’s the fact that he’s the guy who has to stand in line that rankles. Both Pacquaio and Marquez have unfinished business with Bradley, so why is it that Marquez is the one who has to wait to settle up?

Obviously it’s Pacquiao’s star power that determines his place in line, and this is where the justice of the matter comes into things. Meanwhile, Marquez is getting a presumably decent paycheck in the interim for a tough fight, but one he should be expected to win handily.

Marquez has been forced to wait though, and while he has been promised a go at the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley should he emerge victorious against Alvarado, things in boxing have a way of falling apart. Is that a written contract, or a verbal agreement? Even if written, will Pacquiao or Bradley buy Marquez out of that agreement to take another fight before facing him next?

It’s entirely possible that he not only won’t get another rumble with Pacquiao, but he won’t get a rematch with Bradley either. It wouldn’t be the first time a worthier contender was left completely out in the cold, despite all talk to the contrary, and in Marquez’s case it wouldn’t be in complete keeping with the hard luck character of his career.