Suddenly, Timothy Bradley is a hot commodity—the unbelievable object of a tug-of-war between arch rivals Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez for their next fights.
Marquez claims he’ll be fighting Bradley on Sept. 14, but Cameron Dunkin, Bradley’s manager, denied that a deal has been forged with the unbeaten American, who handed Pacquiao a dubious split decision loss last June.
Now, Team Pacquiao wants Bradley as the eight-division world champion’s opponent on his return to the ring on Oct. 13, most probably at Venetian Macao.
Pacquiao’s first priority, of course, would have been a fifth fight with Marquez, who knocked him out in the sixth round last Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
But Marquez is shrewdly using that stunning ending as a bargaining chip.
After earning $6 million for the fourth bout with Pacquiao, Marquez told the Mexican media recently that Pacquiao-Marquez V would happen only if he’s given a guaranteed purse of $20 million. That figure would virtually mean a 50-50 sharing between the fierce rivals, something unacceptable to Pacquiao’s camp.
In response, Team Pacquiao, through business adviser Michael Koncz, offered Bradley a $6 million guarantee for a rematch.
Bradley, who was unimpressive in besting former Pacquiao sparring partner Russian Ruslan Provodnikov in his last outing, has yet to agree to the Pacquiao offer.
But the lure of more money, as Bradley stands to get much less against Marquez, may be too difficult to resist.