by Nick Giongco
Manila, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao didn’t even bother to watch – much less take a glancing look – at a fight where he was one of the main characters.
Instead of seating in front of his giant TV during a break in his training camp yesterday, Pacquiao opted to attend church service in General Santos City rather than see Tim Bradley retain his world welterweight crown with a split decision over Juan Manuel Marquez that was held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Bradley and Marquez have a common denominator: Pacquiao.
In June last year, Bradley upset Pacquiao on a disputable split verdict and six months later in December, Marquez erased any doubt about his win, sending Pacquiao to dreamland in the sixth round.
So, since it was a Sunday and supposed to be a day for relaxing, spending time with the family and chilling out, Pacquiao got up early and went elsewhere.
Mike Koncz, the Filipino fighter’s Canadian adviser, said his boss didn’t have any interest in watching the Bradley-Marquez even though its outcome could affect his future as well.
“Manny’s out doing church service,” said Koncz, who expressed his dismay over the conduct of the 12-rounder.
“I knew that it wasn’t going to be an entertaining fight,” said Koncz, who dangled Bradley a $6-million purse for a rematch and $13 million to Marquez for a fifth fight.
Both turned the mouth-watering offer down and chose to fight each other instead, avoiding a bloody and risky scrap with the ultra-aggressive Pacquiao.
Pacquiao is in the thick of training for a comeback fight versus Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau.
A victory is sure to line him up for bigger things and possibly against Bradley, who, like Pacquiao, also fights under Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., making it easier to pair them together for a second meeting.
But Koncz said a rematch with Bradley can only happen if the American agrees to a paycheck of $6 million.
Bradley remained unbeaten, and denied 40-year-old Marquez a world title in a fifth weight class.
To the jeers of a pro-Marquez crowd at the Thomas and Mack Center, two judges awarded the bout to Bradley, 116-112 and 115-113, while the third judge saw it 115-113 for Marquez.
Bradley almost sent Marquez down with a left hook in the closing seconds of the 12th.
‘”He couldn’t touch me,’” Bradley said. “I gave him a boxing lesson.” (With a report from AP)