AT RINGSIDE in Las Vegas Saturday night, Juan Manuel Marquez received the biggest ovation. Carlos Costa of philboxing.com said the “the vibrant welcoming of Marquez was by far more enthusiastic than the applause given Mike Tyson who was another special guest” in the world title fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado.
The report also noted that the overwhelming reception given Marquez was “the result of his spectacular knockout victory over Manny Pacquiao last December.”
What sort of reception Pacquiao could’ve gotten had he bothered to show up?
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Definitely less enthusiastic than the one accorded Marquez, considering that the championship night was packed with Latinos, with the main bout featuring two warriors of Mexican descent.
Not only that. Although Mexicans had been endlessly awed at Pacquiao, they can now claim they have their own Pacquiao in Marquez, a warrior who fought hard and gave everything, until he was able to restore Mexican pride inside the boxing ring.
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Anyway, premier promoter Bob Arum could not tell where Pacquiao was, but he was quick to assure he will be back to fight in September.
There was no mention of a possible foe.
Actually, Pacquiao himself bared last week he could not find time to even think of boxing. He said he was busy with the political campaign.
He’s running unopposed as congressman of Sarangani. He could be expected to be back on the road in June—after the elections—to prepare for that September fight promised by Arum.
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Now listen. If Pacquiao ever fights in September, it will not be against Bradley.
Lest it be forgotten, Bradley, through no fault of his own, scored a robbery of a win against Pacquiao last year.
Last month, Bradley was rewarded another dubious, if not less shameful, win against the gritty and talented Ruslav Provoskinov.
Bradley was among the guests at ringside during the Alvarado-Rios bout last Saturday.
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There was no report if the reigning (allegedly) undefeated WBO welterweight champion got scant notice from the audience.
Much later though, after Alvarado beat a fast-fading Rios who visibly showed up with a half-filled oxygen tank for the titanic mission, Bradley shared the spotlight.
But only after he was grouped with Marquez, toast of the big Mexican crowd.
Continued the philboxing.com report: “Greeting fans and looking in really good spirits, a clean-shaven Marquez shared: ‘I’ll have a talk with Mr. Arum and we’ll see what might be next. At this moment it has not been decided if my next fight will be with Bradley. But I must admit that I would love to have a fight with Bradley.”
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It’s too early to determine how that bout would shape up.
But going by Arum’s unmasked intention for its staging, it should be another thriller.
Maybe Señor Marquez did not notice it, but there were frantic efforts that ultimately led to his very possible clash with Bradley.
They did not only insult the intelligence of the fight public, courtesy of the blind judges—not to mention the lead broadcaster who risked the reputation of his company with record infamy on the air—in order to arrive at where Marquez and Bradley stand face-to-face now.
This is all part of a deceitful script but, at least, the vanquished, badly beaten Bradley survived and luckily finished on his feet.
Is there somebody out there who can prevent a Marquez-Bradley fight?
Please don’t ask Mr. Arum.