Bradley expects to be top #3 pound-for-pound if he beats Marquez
By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) sees great things for himself if beats Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO’s) this Saturday night on HBO from the Thomas & Mack Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Bradley expects that Marquez will retire after the loss, and that he himself will be pushed up the pound-for-pound rankings by Ring Magazine from No.8 to No.1-3. Bradley sees a victory over Marquez as being a big enough win to accomplish that.
Bradley said to ESPN “Beating Marquez, that right there will make me one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world — No.1, No.2, No.3…by having two guys on my resume [Marquez and Pacquiao] who are by far the best fighters in the world, [future] Hall of Famers…if I could beat both of these guys, I would be considered one of the best.”
It’s difficult to picture Bradley as a top 3 pound-for-pound guy, and even more difficult to consider him as one of the best in terms of Hall of Fame type fighters. This is one of those things where you’re talking guys from different eras, but it’s doubtful that Bradley would have done well fighting guys like Sugar Ray Leonard, Terry Norris, Tommy Hearns, a prime Oscar De La Hoya, and Felix Trinidad from the past.
Bradley calls Marquez and Pacquiao as being “by far the best fighters in the world”, but I think Floyd Mayweather Jr. would have a lot to say about that. He already beat Marquez in 2009, so he shouldn’t be on the list unless Mayweather Jr. is too. Pacquiao has two controversial decision wins over Marquez as well as a controversial draw, and we saw Pacquiao get knocked out by him last December. Pacquiao is a good fighter, but he’s clearly not the best in boxing. You’d have to rate him behind Mayweather and definitely behind Marquez right now.
Even if Bradley does beat Marquez on Saturday night, it’s still not like he beat a prime Marquez, and for that reason it’s difficult to push Bradley up in the pound-for-pound rankings. I can’t see Bradley as being an all-time great in the sport either. All-time greats don’t go life and death with fighters like Ruslan Provodnikov, and they don’t get controversial wins over Pacquiao. Bradley is a decent fighter, but probably closer to being the 9th or 10th best in the welterweight division behind Mayweather, Pacquiao, Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman, Adrien Broner, Amir Khan, Robert Guerrero and Marcos Maidana. I’d also give Kell Brook a good chance of beating Bradley as well.
Being with Top Rank, we’ll never really know how good Bradley is because he’ll likely spend the remainder of his career fighting Pacquiao, Brandon Rios, Mike Alvarado and Marquez without ever facing many of the aforementioned names.