It’s months before Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez set foot in the ring to exchange fighting skills, but there they were in the posh Beverly Hills Hotel hyping their showdown.
On one side was Palm Springs’ Bradley, no longer the wide-eyed newcomer to mega fight central. On the other was Mexico City’s Marquez, the remarkable veteran of four world championships in four separate weight divisions.
“This is going to be one of the Fights of the Year,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum, adding that it will surpass Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios and Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez in excitement.
The undefeated Bradley (30-0, 12 Kos) faces Mexican challenger Marquez (55-6-1, 40 Kos; on right, in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo) on Oct. 12, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. HBO pay-per-view will televise. Tickets go on sale today.
On paper it’s one of those fights that’s very difficult to pick a winner.
Bradley’s last battle in the ring, on March 16, against Ruslan Provodnikov, was a brutal affair that saw the Palm Springs speedster engage in a blow for blow slugfest of epic proportions. It nearly cost him his senses.
“I tried to knock him out,” said Bradley honestly. “He just laughed at my punches.”
If not for Bradley’s winning most of the middle rounds with his boxing ability, then he surely would have tasted the first defeat of his professional career. But he hung on and though wobbled and battered he took the win on points. So far it’s the Fight of the Year.
Arum thinks the next Bradley fight will be another contender for that status.
Marquez’s last fight was a thrilling knockout win of Philippine’s great Manny Pacquiao. That was last November and since then the boxer known as “Dinamita” has looked around for the best possible opponent, someone that can give him a historic challenge. He sees that in Bradley.
“He has something I want and that is the world title,” said Marquez, adding that he seeks to become the first Mexican-born fighter to win five world titles in five separate weight divisions. “This is an opportunity to fight the best, and the best is the champion Bradley.”
The Mexican fighter knows that Bradley has a speed advantage and a youth advantage and perhaps more.
“I’m training especially for the speed,” Marquez said.
Bradley knows that he cannot afford a mistake inside the boxing ring against Marquez.
“He has this huge legacy. He’s a legend,” said Bradley of Marquez. “Don’t miss this fight.”
Arum truly believes Bradley vs. Marquez is the fight to watch.
“It’s the most competitive fight,” Arum said.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV