Within the past two weeks, American two weight world champion Timothy Bradley successfully retained his WBO Welterweight title against the Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez at the Thomas and Mack Centre in Las Vegas. It was second time Bradley defended his title, the first being against the Freddie Roach trained Russian crowd pleaser Ruslan Provodkinov.
The question for Bradley and Marquez is the inevitable: what next?
For the 30 year old Bradley, who extended his record to 31-0 with 12 knockouts, he is not exactly starved for attractive pay days in a very talent rich division. The most obvious one is inevitably the sport’s number one attraction in the shape of Floyd Mayweather Jr, who holds the WBC’s portion of the Welterweight crown.
This option has complications due to Mayweather’s current television deal with Showtime, and Bradley’s promoter’s Top Rank currently tied into a deal with HBO. However, as Mayweather promotes himself through the Mayweather/Money Team umbrella, there is still a possibility that such a match up that could happen.
Other options for Bradley could be the winner of Devon Alexander and Shawn Porter’s IBF Welterweight title clash. Should Alexander emerge victorious against the younger, unbeaten Porter, Alexander will look to avenge a 10th round Technical Decision loss to Bradley down at Light-Welterweight for the WBC and WBO portions of the 10 stone title.
A slightly more distant option could be the winner of Adrien Broner fighting the Argentinean banger Marcos Rene Maidana due to both men fighting under Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy umbrella and the on going rift between that organisation and Top Rank, which is causing much frustration, not just for fighters trying to make a living, but to the fans who want to see the best fighting the best.
Breaking away stateside and from the Golden Boy and Top Rank cold wa, one fighter who could be an option for Bradley is the unbeaten British Welterweight Kell Brook, who stopped the former WBA title holder Vyacheslav Senchenko in a IBF eliminator this past weekend.
For Juan Manuel Marquez, the future looks unclear. At 40 years of age, it appears likely that Marquez, a former world champion at Feather, Super-Featherweight and Lightweight is destined for a call to Canastota and the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
And while his name would be a draw for good young unbeaten prospect, it is highly unlikely in this writer’s eyes that a fighter of Marquez’s calibre and status would be willing to submit himself to such humiliation after a such a long and glittering career.
But only time will reveal the answers for both men.