Manny Pacquiao Drops, Busts Up Vargas For WBO Belt

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By Francisco Salazar –

Manny Pacquiao was not going to stay retired after his April 9 win over Timothy Bradley. Not when there are potential fights against the likes of Terence Crawford or Floyd Mayweather.

How convenient was it for both to be sitting ringside amongst the 16,132 in attendance at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

What were both thinking as they exited the venue after Manny Pacquiao won a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas remains to be seen.

But they both know Pacquiao brings a lot of money and large continent of fans to fill any arena to the table.

Pacquiao improves to 59-6-2, 38 KOs, while Vargas falls to 27-2, 10 KOs.

If Saturday night was a showcase of sorts, Pacquiao did what he had to do and what was expected of him: dominate a fighter in Vargas throughout 12 rounds.

Lost in all this was Vargas, who would lose the WBO World welterweight title to Pacquiao. But he tried and made the popular Filipino fighter earn the victory.

Vargas was defending the title he won on March 5, when he stopped Sadam Ali in Washington, D.C. It was an impressive win for the Mexican-American, but it made him a likely target for Pacquiao and his handlers.

Would Vargas realistically land a fight against Pacquiao if he did not have a world title belt? Most like not, but Vargas was up to the challenge, even after a proposed fight with Kell Brook evaporated over the summer.

Vargas said all the right things in the build-up to the fight, but from the opening bell, looked overwhelmed by Pacquiao’s speed, albeit it was not what it once was.

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Pacquiao used his speed to drop Vargas with about a minute left in round two, courtesy of a left hand to the head. Vargas was not visibly hurt, looking more embarrassed that the punch dropped him on his rear.

Pacquiao continued to be in control, but Vargas did his best work in the middle rounds, finding a home for straight right hands to the head. Some of those punches snapped Pacquiao’s head back, especially during rounds six, Vargas’ best round.

But, like the consummate pro that he is, Pacquiao was able to weather the storm, utilizing his speed and aggression to swing momentum back in his favor.

As if Pacquiao’s speed was not enough to deal with, Vargas had to deal with a cut over his right eye that was caused by a head-butt, although the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled that a punch opened the cut.

Pacquiao walked Vargas down at times, controlling the action as the fight moved into the championship rounds. Vargas did all he could, but Pacquiao’s pedigree was too much on this night.

Two judges scored the bout 119-108, as did Boxingscene.com, while the third judge (Dave Moretti) scored the bout closer than many expected (114-113), all for Pacquiao.

Pacquiao had to have 12 stitches for a cut over his right eye and did not attend the post-fight press conference.

Now that Pacquiao holds a title (and another eight figure purse to boot), what is next?

Rumors amongst boxing insiders is that a possible rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could be penciled in May. Many in boxing cringe at the idea of another fight that would produce 12 anti-climatic rounds at a steep price.

Then there is the possibility of Terence Crawford, a fighter who has mentioned he is staying put at 140 pounds until he unifies all the world titles.

Since Bob Arum is now doing business with Al Haymon, there are also possibilities of Pacquiao fighting other elite welterweights like Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. Both are scheduled to fight each other in March.

“I’ll let the fans pick who they want me to pick,” said Pacquiao after the fight. “I don’t pick anyone.”

When he was pressed, Pacquiao responded, “Anyone at 147 pounds.”

Is a potential fight with Crawford a possibility.

“Yes, I don’t have any problems going down to 140 pounds. It would be better for me.”

As for Vargas, the loss to Pacquiao does not hurt him. He is still a player at 147 pounds and would likely fight on HBO programming in 2017.

“We’ll come back strong for my next fight,” said Vargas afterwards. “We’re still young. Fighting a legend in Manny Pacquiao will elevate my game.”

www.boxingscene.com/manny-pacquiao-drops-busts-up-jessie-vargas-wbo-belt–110476?print_friendly=1

Valdez retains WBO featherweight title

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By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (22-0, 19 KOs) scored an impressive seventh round TKO over super game #1 rated Hiroshige Osawa (30-4-4, 19 KOs) on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 70:1 favorite Valdez dropped Osawa in round four, but Osawa survived Valdez’ vicious follow up assault. The bout was waved off in round seven.

www.fightnews.com/Boxing/valdez-retains-wbo-featherweight-title-358891

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www.fightnews.com/Boxing/valdez-retains-wbo-featherweight-title-358891

Magdaleno defeats Donaire to seize WBO super bantamweight title

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By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank –

Unbeaten super bantamweight Jessie Magdaleno (24-0, 17 KOs) won by twelve round unanimous decision to dethrone WBO champion Nonito Donaire (37-4, 24 KOs) on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It was a good action fight with Donaire bringing the pressure and Magdaleno holding his own. Magdaleno rocked Donaire in round nine. Donaire closed strong but it was too little too late. In the end, scores were 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110.
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Nonito Donaire Jr. claims he’ll be victorious over Jessie Magdaleno through personal ‘war chant’

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NONITO Donaire Jr. claims he’s limitless and victory will come Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) when he stakes his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight title belt against Jessie Magdaleno at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The 33-year-old Filipino showed his new-found confidence in the form of a ‘war chant’ he did with his team during the scheduled media workout at the Top Rank gym in Las Vegas on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).

His trainer and members of team following the lead, Donaire shouted ‘I am warrior. I claim victory. I am limitless.’

He ended it by exclaiming, ‘Victorryyy. Victory, that’s who I am.”

That’s what Donaire will be five days from now despite being up against a formidable opponent in Magdaleno, who is unbeaten in 23 fights, including 17 by knockouts.

“I’m the ‘King of the Ring,” Donaire stressed before a throng of media men. “It won’t go 12 rounds vs. Magdaleno.”

The 12-round bout, which many sees could steal the thunder away from the main event featuring Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas for the WBO welterweight title belt, marks the second time the ‘Fllipino Flash’ will be defending his 122-lbs crown since becoming a champion again following a 12-round unanimous decision win over Cesar Juarez last year.

He currently sports a 37-3 ring record, including 24 KOs. Donaire is currently on a four-fight winning streak since suffering a sixth-round TKO loss to Nicholas Walters to yield the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight championship two years ago.

Magdaleno, 24, however, remains unperturbed with Donaire’s vast experience and believes he can beat the reigning champ right in his first attempt at a world crown.

“I will outwork, outbox, overwhelm Nonito,” said Magdaleno in his separate media workout.
Read more at http://www.spin.ph/boxing/news/nonito-donaire-jr-claims-hell-be-victorious-over-jessie-magdaleno-through-personal-war-chant-#Dx00KColWIT29zLh.99

Champion Jessie Vargas confident he can upset Manny Pacquiao and vault to stardom

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A few days away from the biggest fight of his career, Jessie Vargas is supremely confident he will pull off an upset against former eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao and become boxing’s next big star.

“I’ve prepared for this moment for so long. It’s the only thing on my mind, every day when I wake up and when I go to sleep,” Vargas, 27, said by phone. “I have a great team behind me, and things could not be any better.”

Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs), the WBO welterweight champion, and Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), the first-term Filipino senator who is coming out of a short retirement, are promoted by Top Rank, which, in addition to marketing the fight, is handling its own pay-per-view telecast (Saturday, 9p.m. ET) from Thomas & Mack Center in Vargas’ hometown of Las Vegas.

Despite the fact that Pacquiao, 37, is a 7-1 favorite, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum thinks Vargas, a decade younger than his opponent and several inches taller, has a great chance to defeat Pacquiao, who has not won by a knockout in seven years.

“The reason is that Manny has been consumed by all of this talk that he has to become a knockout guy again, he has to go all out to sustain his popularity,” Arum said, “so Manny will go after Jessie and be very, very careless. … If Manny is going to go in there with the intention of knocking out Jessie and being very aggressive, that gives Jessie the best opportunity to win the fight.

“He becomes not just a champion but a superstar. I will deny to him that I said that because I will have to negotiate his next fight,” Arum said, laughing. “He would be a superstar, there is no question about that, if he were to beat Manny Pacquiao.

“I don’t know who is going to win, but I’m confident it’ll be by knockout. Jessie has a hell of a shot to win.”

If that happens, Vargas says, a star will be born. “That’s what’s going to make me into a household name and Top Rank’s main guy in the stable,” he says.

Vargas’ confidence comes from his newfound power, which the fighter credits to the training methods of his new team, led by head trainer Dewey Cooper.

Until his last two fights, Vargas was considered a light-hitting boxer with a low knockout rate.

But in June 2015, after getting outboxed most of the way by Timothy Bradley, Vargas connected with a right hand late in the 12th round that seemingly had the former champion wobbly and out on his feet. Vargas went for the kill, but referee Pat Russell mistook the 10-second warning for the final bell and ended the fight eight to 10 seconds early. Thinking Russell had stopped the fight and he had won, Vargas celebrated. He thought he could’ve been the first to stop Bradley with the extra time but ended up losing a unanimous decision for his only career loss.

In April in Washington, D.C., Vargas fought undefeated former Olympian Sadam Ali for the vacant WBO belt. With Cooper in his corner for the first time, Vargas stopped Ali in the ninth round, and suddenly people began talking about Vargas’ power.

Yet few give him a chance against future Hall of Famer Pacquiao, who will try to win back the belt he once held. Many experts, including those in the media, think Vargas has little or no shot.

“People are underestimating my power, and possibly if Manny underestimates my power it’s going to backfire on him,” Vargas said. “Everybody got a taste of the new and improved Jessie Vargas early this year when I captured my second world title and will see an even better Jessie Vargas Nov. 5. Not even I have seen myself this strong and this fast. And it all has to do with my team.”

Pacquiao, who trained for the fight around his Senate sessions, is not taking Vargas lightly.

“Vargas is a world champion, and you can never underestimate a boxer who is a champion,” Pacquiao said. “He is good. I just have to make sure that I am 100% ready for the fight”.

www.boxingjunkie.usatoday.com/2016/11/02/welterweight-champ-jessie-vargas-confident-pset-manny-pacquiao/

Vargas Warns Critics: I’m Going To Beat The Sh*t Out of Pacquiao!

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By Edward Chaykovsky –

World Boxing Organization [WBO] welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10KOs) has warned the critics out there, because he intends to give Manny Pacquiao a severe beating in the fall.

Vargas landed the major opportunity last week, when Pacquiao selected him to become the opponent for his November 5th return at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao had announced his retirement in April after winning a twelve round unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley in their trilogy fight. The Filipino superstar was planning to pursue a full-time career back in home in the Philippines. He secured a senatorial seat in the May elections.

Not everyone is pleased with Pacquiao’s selection of Vargas. Many critics would have preferred if Pacquiao would have picked WBC/WBO junior welterweight world champion Terence Crawford, who dominated unbeaten Viktor Postol last month.

Vargas disagrees with the critics. He sees no reason for a smaller fighter to get selected, because Pacquiao has been a player in the welterweight division since 2008.

“Crawford’s a super-lightweight champion, I’m the welterweight champion – isn’t Manny Pacquiao a welterweight? Why would he be negotiating to fight a super-lightweight?,” Vargas told Boxing News.

Vargas predicts that after November 5th, when he sends Pacquiao packing into retirement, that these same critics will be tabbing him as the next superstar in the sport and singing his praises.

“I’m going to surprise the world, I’m going to let them know who Jessie Vargas is. Tune into the fight November 5, I’m going to beat the sh*t out of Manny Pacquiao and then I’ll be the next star, everyone will be talking about me. It’s plain and simple,” Vargas said.

www.boxingscene.com/vargas-warns-critics-im-going-beat-sht-out-pacquiao–107719?print_friendly=1

11/07/2015 Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Romulo Koasicha

Date:   Saturday,  November 7, 2015

WBO FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location:   Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Promoter:   Top Rank / Bob Arum

Supervisor:  Luis Perez

Referee:  Robert Byrd

Judges:  Patricia Morse Jarman, Dave Moretti, Don Trella

Results:   The Champion Vasyl Lomachenko retains the WBO Featherweight Title against Romulo Koasicha by KO in the 10th round.

TV:   USA HBO, New Zealand Sky Arena, Hungary Sport 1

Bradley batters Rios to keep welterweight belt

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 07: WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. (C) poses with cutman Malcolm Garrett (L) and trainer Teddy Atlas after defeating Brandon Rios in a title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.   Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 07: WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. (C) poses with cutman Malcolm Garrett (L) and trainer Teddy Atlas after defeating Brandon Rios in a title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 7, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

Timothy Bradley battered Brandon Rios en route to a ninth-round technical knockout on Saturday (US time) in a lopsided welterweight bout that had a dejected Rios announcing his retirement.

Bradley retained his World Boxing Organization world title, improving to 33-1-1 with 13 wins inside the distance with the triumph at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Fighting for the first time under the guidance of trainer Teddy Atlas, Bradley was quick and aggressive against a challenger who struggled to make the 147-pound weight limit.

Bradley, 32, was fast off the mark, landing a series of combinations in a big first round.

Rios, a former World Boxing Association lightweight champion, absorbed a big right in the second, but responded in a battling exchange.

He was doing good work in the third before a body shot from Bradley clearly rattled him.

“I hurt him early to the body,” Bradley said. “I kind of wanted to get him not thinking about it for awhile, and then I went back downstairs.”

Bradley sent Rios to the canvas with a left to the body in the ninth. Rios beat the count, only for Bradley to unleash a barrage that had him down again and referee Tony Weeks calling a halt at 2:49 of the round.

“That’s the best Bradley I’ve ever seen,” promoter Bob Arum said of the fighter who has been mentioned as a possible foe for Manny Pacquiao next year in what will likely be the Philippine legend’s last fight.

The two fought twice in 2012, when Bradley took a controversial split decision before losing the rematch by unanimous decision.

Rios, 29, wasn’t contemplating any future in the ring after falling to 33-3-1, with 24 knockouts.

“I think it’s time to get out,” he said.

 

http://sports.inquirer.net/198395/bradley-batters-rios-to-keep-welterweight-belt

11/07/2015 Timothy Bradley vs. Brandon Rios

Date:   Saturday,  November 7, 2015

WBO WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location:   Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Promoter:   Top Rank / Bob Arum

Supervisor:  Francisco Valcarcel

Referee:  Tony Weeks

Judges: Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Trownbridge, Glenn Fieldman

Results:  The WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley retains the title against Brandon Rios by TKO in the 9th round.

TV:   USA HBO

Bradley, Rios, Lomachenko grand arrivals

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  ---  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr.  makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title defense against former world champion Brandon Rios, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank –

WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr., former world champion Brandon Rios made their grand arrivals for their upcoming world title fight on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.

Also arriving was two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko, who is defending his WBO featherweight world title against Top-10 world-rated contender Romulo Koasicha of Mexico to open the HBO telecast.

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  ---  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr.  makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title defense against former world champion Brandon Rios, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada . — WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr. makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title defense against former world champion Brandon Rios, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.
— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank 

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  ---  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr.  makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title defense against former world champion Brandon Rios, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  ---  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr.  makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title defense against former world champion Brandon Rios, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  ---  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr.  makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title defense against former world champion Brandon Rios, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  --- Former world champion Brandon Rios makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title fight against  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr. , Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada . — Former world champion Brandon Rios makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title fight against WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr. , Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.
— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank 

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  --- Former world champion Brandon Rios makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title fight against  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr. , Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  --- Former world champion Brandon Rios makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title fight against  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr. , Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  ---  WBO Welterweight Champion  Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr.  makes his grand arrival for his upcoming title defense against former world champion Brandon Rios, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  --- Two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist VASYL LOMACHENKO makes his grand arrival for his upcoming world title defense.  LOMACHENKO, defending his WBO featherweight world title against Top-10 world-rated contender ROMULO KOASICHA of Mexico,  will open the HBO telecast featuring the Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr. vs Brandon Rios WBO Welterweight world championship fight, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada . — Two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist VASYL LOMACHENKO makes his grand arrival for his upcoming world title defense. LOMACHENKO, defending his WBO featherweight world title against Top-10 world-rated contender ROMULO KOASICHA of Mexico, will open the HBO telecast featuring the Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley Jr. vs Brandon Rios WBO Welterweight world championship fight, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
— Photo Credit : Chris Farina – Top Rank

Nov 4 , 2015, Las Vegas,Nevada .  --- Two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist VASYL LOMACHENKO makes his grand arrival for his upcoming world title defense.  LOMACHENKO, defending his WBO featherweight world title against Top-10 world-rated contender ROMULO KOASICHA of Mexico,  will open the HBO telecast featuring the Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley Jr. vs Brandon Rios WBO Welterweight world championship fight, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.  --- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank (no other credit allowed) copyright 2015

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/bradley-rios-lomachenko-grand-arrivals-312256#more-312256

 

Juan Manuel Marquez Plans To Pursue Bradley Rematch

 

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By Rene Umanzor –

Juan Manuel Marquez (55-7-1, 40KOs) plans to pursue a rematch with WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (31-0-1, 12KOs). Marquez felt he was robbed a few weeks ago when Bradley was awarded a twelve round split decision at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Marquez, 40 years-old, also felt he was robbed against Manny Pacquiao when he fought the Filipino star to a draw in 2004. He made a career mission to get revenge on Pacquiao, and that mission resulted in three more fights between the two.

Marquez says his main motivation to continue in boxing is to set the record straight against Bradley.

“I’m sad for what happened in my last fight, because I needed to win. I was more focused and stronger, but as I look to the future….what motivates me is a rematch with Bradley. Nothing else could take place if I don’t carry out this fight. I have to settle this issue with Timothy Bradley, as long as he accepts a rematch, because I want to make it clear who won on the 12th of October. Right now I’m not thinking about [other opponents], I’m more interested in making a rematch against Bradley to make it clear who is who. I already talked a bit with [trainer] Nacho [Beristain] and we feel that is the best option,” Marquez said.

http://www.boxingscene.com/juan-manuel-marquez-plans-pursue-bradley-rematch–70963

Tim Bradley Continues To Fight For Respect

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Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank /

By Jake Donovan –

Even on the heels of a leading Fight of the Year candidate, it’s a stretch to say that the boxing world has shown as much respect to Tim Bradley as he has shown to the sport of boxing. The always-sculpted and undefeated two-division champ has fought at the sport’s highest level of competition for at least the past four years yet is still treated by the industry at large as if he has something to prove.

That won’t stop him from loving what he does. Nor will it stop him from giving respect to others where respect is due, even when those “others” are standing in the opposite corner on fight night. Chief among those Bradley holds in the highest regard is his very next opponent, Juan Manuel Marquez, whom he faces this weekend at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I have always been a fan of Márquez,” Bradley (30-0, 12KO) unapologetically admits of his legendary opponent. “I always thought he was a great fighter and I still think he’s a great fighter. I want to fight the best to be the best in this sport.  I don’t do this just to make money, of course the money is important for my family, but I do this to be the best. That’s what motivates me and drives me.”

It was that very same drive that prompted Bradley to update his passport in 2008 for two separate road trips after a career spent at home in California. A trip to Mexico proved for naught when Jose Luis Castillo added a chapter to his troubled career by missing weight for their 140 lb. title eliminator. Bradley still got his title shot, traveling to jolly old England two months later, upending Junior Witter for his first major title.

That very same drive eventually led him to sign with Top Rank, with the hope that it would lead to a showdown with Manny Pacquiao, who at the time was – along with Floyd Mayweather – the sport’s leading fighter at the box office and in the ring.

Bradley received that opportunity sooner than expected, but the result – a controversial split decision in their June ’12 encounter – proved more harm than good for his career. Even his own promoter, Bob Arum chose sides in the aftermath, condemning the judges who scored against his cash cow and vowing an investigation into a matter he believed could only be the result of corruption or ignorance.

The level of disdain was evident on Bradley’s ring ledger, which shows nine months of inactivity (including a failed attempt at a floated rematch with Lamont Peterson last December) before returning to the ring this past March.

It took for an unrealistic amount of heart shown in his 12-round war with Ruslan Provodnikov on that night to finally get the boxing world to show him the respect he has long deserved. Bradley was stunned early and decked late, spending most of the night fighting while concussed yet somehow managed to escape with a narrow points win in a bout most consider for the moment to be the best fight to have taken place in this calendar year.

Yet even in winning over the fans while continuing to win in the ring, the belief – masked as concern – is that the fight took too much out of Bradley. By giving the fans what they wanted by brawling rather than boxing, it is now suggested that he’s ripe for the taking, even against a 40-year old opponent who has endured his own ups and downs and who hasn’t fought in 10 months.

Perhaps that’s because Marquez’ last fight was one for the ages. An epic fourth encounter with Pacquiao saw the legendary Mexican – 0-2-1 and dropped four times in their previous three bouts – overcome hellacious moments to score two knockdowns, the second producing the mother of all knockouts in the 6th round of what was hailed as 2012’s Fight of the Year.

“Everybody is looking at my last fight and everybody is looking at his last fight,” Bradley suggests in dismissing the naysayers. “Everyone remembers when he knocked out Pacquiao. And everyone remembers that war with Ruslan Provodnikov. A lot of people think I am going to be wild and go down and people have to see if I still have it or not.

“Of course they are going for the veteran, the guy that knocked out Pacquiao so of course they are going to bet on him to win. I don’t mind being the underdog. I like it. I like taking people’s money and I’ll take it again. People can doubt me and doubt me and that’s OK but soon they will get sick of losing their money.”

More than anything else these days, deep into the heart of his prime, it’s that level of doubt against him that drives Bradley to strive for the top.

“People that tell me I can’t do it, I want to prove them wrong,” Bradley insists. “I am one of the best fighters in the world and if I’m not number one on your (pound-for-pound) list, I will be.  Floyd’s got a few more fights left so when I beat Márquez I will be right in there.”

From an odds perspective, Bradley doesn’t face an insurmountable task yet still enters this weekend’s headliner as the betting underdog. Marquez is roughly a 7-5 favorite in most betting circles. Pacquiao was a 4½-1 betting favorite prior to suffering a controversial loss to Bradley, one that the boxing world never seemed to forgive of the sculpted Californian.

Regardless of how fans felt and perhaps still feel, the fact remains that Bradley owns an official win over one of the very best fighters of this generation. Come Saturday night, he looks forward to duplicating and surpassing that feat against a fighter whom he believes rates even higher.

“I want to be a part of Márquez’s legacy and by me beating Márquez, that right there will make me one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” Bradley envisions, but not without once again paying his opponent his due props.

“Márquez is probably the best fighter I will have ever faced in my career, by far. This fight on October 12th is going to be a very tough fight and I am game for war. I know Márquez is, too.”

That said, even respect for your predecessors has its limits. For Bradley, those limits end once the opening bell sounds. Some 16 months after being accused of being aided by the judges to steal a win from one legend, the unbeaten boxer vows to leave no doubt in the event the officials try to go in the opposite direction.

“I am going to whoop his ass and the judges are going to give me the fight.  Just like the U.S. government I am going to shut down Juan Manuel Márquez on October 12th.  I am going to win the fight – that is the bottom line.  I’m not concerned about any judges or any ref.  I am going to get in there and do my job and beat Márquez. And that’s it. And the world’s going to see it.”

And, maybe at that point, finally show Tim Bradley the same respect he has shown to boxing.

http://www.boxingscene.com/tim-bradley-continues-fight-respect–70407

Photos: Marquez, Bradley Meet The Press in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, Ca. —  Undefeated WBO World Welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm’ Bradley, and former four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez, talk to reporters during a roundtable luncheon Monday about their upcoming  world championship fight on Saturday, Oct 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas,Nevada. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Wynn Las Vegas, Márquez Boxing, and Tecate, Bradley vs. Márquez  will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.  Photos by Chris Farina/Top Rank.

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http://www.boxingscene.com/photos-marquez-bradley-meet-press-los-angeles–70360

Photos: Orlando Cruz Training During Media Day

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New York, NY, USA —  No. 1 Featherweight contender Orlando Cruz of Puerto Rico works out during media day ahead of his bout against WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido.  The two will meet on the undercard of the Timothy Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez bout on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas for the vacant WBO featherweight title.  Cruz is boxing’s first openly gay fighter.

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Orlando Cruz vs. Salido

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It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®,
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Zanfer Promotions, All Star Boxing, Wynn Las Vegas, Márquez Boxing, and Tecate, remaining tickets to the Bradley vs. Márquez welterweight championship event, priced at $800, $600, $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office, online at UNLVtickets.com, at UNLVtickets Outlet Town Square Las Vegas Concierge, or by calling 702-739-FANS (3267).

http://www.boxingscene.com/photos-orlando-cruz-training-during-media-day–69933

Timothy Bradley Media Day

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Undefeated WBO World Welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley works out during media day for his upcoming world championship fight against four-division champion Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday, Oct 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Wynn Las Vegas, Márquez Boxing, and Tecate, Bradley vs. Márquez will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

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Juan Manuel Marquez Mexico City Media Day

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Photos: Rafael Soto / Zanfer Promotions –

Four-division champion Juan Manuel Marquez works out during media day for his upcoming world championship fight against undefeated WBO World Welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm’ Bradley on Saturday, Oct 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas,Nevada.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Wynn Las Vegas, Márquez Boxing, and Tecate, Bradley vs. Márquez will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

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http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/marquez-media-day-227729

Erik Morales: Juan Manuel Marquez in His Best Moment

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By Miguel Rivera –

Former four division world champion Erik Morales admits that Juan Manuel Marquez has finally turned himself into a superstar attraction. For years, since their time in Top Rank a decade ago, the two fighters had heat with each other and the two of them have attacked each other in the press numerous times when discussions to stage a fight between the two of them have fallen apart. Marquez, nearly 40-years-old, will face WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley on October 12th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

“You’re always looking for the right moment to achieve something important in your life. One aspires to have athletic achievements but you also aspire for other things like economic success. Marquez is a fighter who did a lot of things throughout his career, but nothing like he’s been able to accomplish today.  Marquez’s timing is unmatched, he beat [Manny] Pacquiao at the right time and he deserves the position that he’s earned. He’s become a star attraction. 10 years ago he was a good fighter but he didn’t mean as much as he does today. I think he is in the best moment of his career,” Morales said.

http://www.boxingscene.com/erik-morales-juan-manuel-marquez-his-best-moment–67434

Bradley Marquez Press Conference Report

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By Miguel Maravilla
Photo: Chris Farnia/Top Rank –

Unbeaten WBO welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) of Palm Springs, California and four time division world champion Mexico City’s Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) kicked off their two city press tour for their October PPV showdown on Wednesday afternoon at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The two will square off Saturday October 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I want to welcome you all to what I believe will be the fight of the year or certainly a candidate for fight of the year,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “This fight is for legacy. Timothy wants to win this fight to beat the top Mexican fighter in the world and Juan Manuel Marquez is looking to make history to win 5 world titles in five weight divisions.”

Mexican promoter Fernando Beltran of Zanfer Promotions, who co-promotes Marquez, was also on hand as he spoke on the upcoming bout, “This is the fight everyone wants to see. Two professional fighters, of course, because of their last performances. I think Timothy really fought with his heart. It is one the most sensational fights I have seen live.

“These guys are going to go at each other. They know how to get into it. This is a real fight, a boxing match. Not a guy that is going to be running around outclassing his opponent with his skill but not giving the fans what they paid for. So these two guys will give the fans their money’s worth.”

Marquez trainer Nacho Beristan talked with the media as he anticipates a tough one.

“This is a real natural interesting fight. We recognize the quality of the champion, the way his trainer handles him. I think we will have a complicated night but we have every right to say we will come out victorious,” Beristan said.

Team Bradley was represented by his manager Cameron Dunkin along with Timothy’s father Ray Bradley and trainer Joel Diaz. Diaz spoke about the upcoming preparation and challenge they have in facing Juan Manuel Marquez.

“We are back again in another tough fight. We have by far one of our toughest fights against one of the toughest opponents, an Aztec warrior which is Juan Manuel Marquez. Behind him stands the professor of boxing, the best trainer in the world Mr. Nacho Beristan,” Diaz said. “Now it’s in my hands to put together a plan to beat Juan Manuel Marquez with my fighter, the world champion Tim Bradley.”

Juan Manuel Marquez followed as he welcomed everyone in attendance talked about his upcoming showdown speaking both in English and Spanish, “I want to thank Team Bradley for this fight. Well I have always said if I want to be the best I have to beat the best. Bradley is the champion. I am ready for this fight. The people will see October 12 another great fight because of our styles. I feel focused for October 12. I am training real hard on my strength and speed. That is what is really important for this fight, the speed.”

“This belt is beautiful. Everyone knows what happened in November 2011. This belt should be mine, but October 12 I will be back for it. This is my motivation. I feel happy for this opportunity,” Marquez concluded.

Timothy Bradley made his statement, speaking highly of his counterpart, and promises to give another great performance.

“I want to thank Juan Manuel Marquez It shows you what type of fighter and talent Juan Manuel Marquez has. He is 40, his ability and mental state of wanting to fight the best.”

“I am so pumped up can’t wait to get back to the gym and start training for this fight. I know what I have in front of me, the obstacle I have. It’s going to be a tough challenge. I am not taking him for granted. I don’t care how old he is what he has done in the past, he is facing me now. After October 12 I will be on everyone’s pound for pound list without a doubt. Don’t miss this fight I am telling you it’s going to be an unbelievable night,” Bradley stated.

The press conference concluded as both faced off for the cameras and things got a little tensed as Bradley stepped up to Marquez but that situation was quickly defused.

“You got two top athletes. Marquez in his eyes is very determined and hungry like he wants something it looks like he wanted to take something from me there and I looked the same at him I mean we are both warriors. Call us roosters or gallos (Spanish),” Bradley told Fightnews.com.

“It’s all part of boxing. It’s the psychological tactic of a fighter. For me it’s nothing new. Let’s just say the psychological war has begun,” Marquez told Fighntews.

The Bradley-Marquez press tour resumes Friday in Mexico City. The Bradley Marquez undercard will include Top Rank’s recently signed light heavyweight Shane Monahan (18-0, 11KOs) of Long Beach, New York vs. Anthony Caputo Smith (14-1, 10KOs) in a ten round light heavyweight bout. More on the undercard to be announced shortly.

http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/bradley-marquez-press-conference-report-207932

Juan Manuel Marquez Does Not Expect The Same Bradley

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By Miguel Rivera –

Four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40KOs) does not expect the same Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12Kos) that fans saw in March against Ruslan Provodnikov. In that particular fight, the WBO welterweight champion stood toe to toe with Provodnikov. He took a lot of punishment and nearly got himself knocked out several times in the contest.

Marquez feels the other Timothy Bradley will show up. The Bradley who boxes and uses speed to his advantage.

Marquez-Bradley is set for September 14th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

“No, I don’t think he will [fight me like he did Provodnikov],” Marquez said. “He has an elusive style, a style consisting of speed and I think it’s going to be a great fight for the fans. Bradley is the champion, a very tough fighter and if we win we will be beating another great fighter. If we were to lose, and we never have that on our mind, but we would be losing to another great fighter. It will be a great event and it takes place on an important date for Mexicans in the United States and here in our country.”

http://www.boxingscene.com/juan-manuel-marquez-not-expect-same-bradley–65491

Juan Manuel Marquez Emphasizes One Half Of The Word “Prizefighter” Against Timothy Bradley

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By:  Corey Quincy –

The principles of life, often disregarded in the name of sport, have shaped what could be one of the top technical bouts of the year between Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez and Timothy “The Desert Storm” Bradley. The welterweight 12-rounder for Bradley’s WBO title is set for Sept. 14 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The basis of sport usually isn’t grounded in any “what is right/what is wrong” system. It is sometimes founded on the grounds of what’s most logical, but often on the grounds of finance and relatedly, a dash of selfishness or greed. Marquez threw the common sporting thesis out the window, the one that said he’d take a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao, even after sinking him with one right hand in round six of their December 2012 fight.

That isn’t the way a boxer with eyes on the biggest possible paycheck conducts himself. Marquez fights with dignity. He loves a new challenge. He has said as much in explaining his motive for pursuing a Bradley bout rather than another Pacquiao rematch.

When he defeated Pacquiao in the fourth meeting, he proved himself as the better fighter in a back-and-forth war. That was the fight to decide all Pacquiao-Marquez fights after a three-fight trilogy featuring two controversial defeats and a draw for Marquez. Whatever the judges thought, a good number of fans felt his spot-on precision counterpunching won him all three. At nearly 40 years old, why return to the series?

Finance would be a reason. He was supposedly offered a substantial amount of money for a fifth battle with Pacquiao, even though he remained the pay-per-view “B” side. But a well-rounded man like Marquez, one who has been around the bend, is wise, and has more to fight for than cash. Money isn’t the sole reason he fights; he wants to put on a show, impress the crowd. And he isn’t going to have his career taken advantage of.

So that brings us to Juan Manuel Marquez against Timothy Bradley. HBO PPV plans to broadcast, with a full show to be announced later.

Bradley is coming off two heavily controversial bouts. The first was in June of last year against “Pac-Man” Pacquiao himself. Bradley took a title-winning split decision over 12 rounds that the majority of viewers thought he lost. Afterwards, Bradley put on a gutsy title defense against Russian slugger Ruslan Provodnikov. Despite being badly hurt and put on the deck in rounds 1 and 12, he fought through the most damaging bout of his career to edge a close decision.

Both of these fights forced Bradley to adapt and evolve to defend his now 30-0 record. Provodnikov caught him hard in round 1 with his snapping right hand and continued to batter him through round 3, but Bradley regained his composure and boxed very well until the 12th round knockdown in which he was forced to painfully sponge what consciousness he had left into a unanimous decision victory.

The Pacquiao fight was a learning experience for Bradley. He was outgunned against Pacquiao but showed merit with basic fundamentals, including a very solid jab/right hand combination he used to take three of the 12 rounds on my personal scorecard.

Forced to endure floods of hate-mail — including fruitless death threats from enraged viewers — Bradley was left in a tight position: What should he do next in his boxing career? He has now left behind the disputed “I beat Pacquiao” topic in hopes of beginning a new chapter. A victory over Marquez will leave his welterweight title gold shining brightest.

Marquez against Bradley is a fight the most die-hard boxing fan can affirmatively cheer about: These are two domineering, elite level boxers, after all. But how will it sell to the general public, which sometimes values bloodshed over technique?

Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather talk the talk; they are very defined personalities, with Mayweather playing the foul-mouthed dictator and Pacquiao playing the humble-minded warrior. That was always an interesting dynamic to their rivalry. There was always a slowly-burning fire inside the heart of every boxing fan that said each fight was building to something more — perhaps a throwdown between each other? While no significant evidence suggested it would ever happen, fans were driven by the idea.

How does one market Bradley-Marquez? Top Rank Promotions is a socially integrated, modernly adapted and well-groomed company. You will see the television adverts, perhaps HBO’s  “24/7,” assorted promotional tidbits and much more. My question is what will truly land the fans in the seats of the Thomas & Mack Center and tapping the “order” button on their remotes?

The common enemy? Both fighters have scored upset victories over Pacquiao, and their names are forever connected for that reason.

The intriguing stories? Marquez is a hard-nosed Mexican willing to bring a show in every fight. Bradley is a young, relatable small-town Californian many consider one of the top rising stars in the fight game.

The raw substance? Bradley is a well-skilled boxer with sturdy all-around ability. He has a solid jab, knows to work the body and keep up the lateral movement, but he isn’t fearful of taking a punch and engaging toe-to-toe when necessary. Marquez is a well-tuned counterpuncher with a great right hand and controlled aggression which makes him a thrilling twist to the traditional Mexican fighting style.

Perhaps it will be some of all of the above. This is a complex operation that Top Rank’s Bob Arum and his public relations gurus will be working hard on for the months leading up to the bout.

With so many factors involved and title supremacy on the line, Bradley and Marquez will duke it out in a Mexican Independence-themed war on Sept. 14. All of the questions will surely be answered.

http://www.queensberry-rules.com/2013-articles/may/juan-manuel-marquez-emphasizes-one-half-of-the-word-prizefighter-against-timothy-bradley.html

Juan Manuel Marquez: Bradley is The Best Option For Me

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Posted by: Rene Umanzor

Four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO) will be chasing his fifth title on September 14th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las vegas. In an earlier article on BoxingScene.com, Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum said a fight between Marquez and WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12KOs) was close to a deal for September 14th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Marquez views Bradley as the best possible option right now, because he wants to make history by capturing a fifth world championship in a fifth weight class. And what better time to do it than Mexican Independence Day.

“I will fight on a very important date for Mexicans, and it is a joy for me to fight for the welterweight championship on that day. [Bradley’s belt is] a title which belonged to me since 2011 but I was denied in the third fight against Manny Pacquiao and why shouldn’t I go and get what’s mine,” Marquez stated.

“To me, this is the best option. Bradley is the best welterweight and to be the best you have to fight the best. He is an undefeated fighter, elusive, difficult, so I must work on speed. I think the key [in this fight] will be to counter his speed.”

“Choosing Bradley was not difficult. I always had it in my mind that my victory over Pacquiao was very important, but I wanted to go forward and not backward [by fighting Pacquiao a fifth time], and Bradley is a challenge that I know the Mexican fans will like and I think it’s time to turn the page with this new goal.”

http://www.boxingscene.com/juan-manuel-marquez-bradley-best-option-me–64735