By NICK GIONGCO
While Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez are being floated around as possible foes for Manny Pacquiao on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, it doesn’t appear either one will end up facing the Filipino icon.
“They blew their chances (of facing Pacquiao),” said Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz from General Santos City.
Koncz said Bradley was offered $6 million, while a purse of $13 million was dangled for Marquez to take when Pacquiao was shopping for an opponent for his Macau fight held last Nov. 23.
When Bradley and Marquez looked the other way and decided to just fight each other instead in October, Brandon Rios came into the scene and wound up getting a paycheck of $4 million in a losing effort.
Koncz theorizes that Bradley is not that keen on facing Pacquiao in a rematch so he could redeem himself from the unpopular 12-round split decision that he took in June 2012.
Besides, Koncz said he will not offer Bradley more than $5 million for a second meeting.
Cameron Dunkin, who manages Bradley, admitted there are on-going talks for a fight for Bradley next year but it doesn’t involve Pacquiao.
As for Marquez, Koncz believes the 40-year-old Mexican star will keep his word of putting a close to his storied rivalry with Pacquiao.
“He holds the bragging rights and I understand where he’s coming from,” said Koncz.
Now that Bradley and Marquez look like unlikely picks, Pacquiao is now training his sights on Ruslan Provodnikov, his former sparring partner from Russia.
The problem is that the iron-fisted Provodnikov is also being trained by Freddie Roach, who has voiced out his reluctance in seeing the match between his star punchers take place outside their sparring sessions.
Provodnikov nearly knocked out Bradley and is coming off an explosive beatdown of Mike Alvarado, making him the more suitable foe for Pacquiao.
Koncz said he is spending a few days in the US starting Dec. 16 to discuss with Top Rank chief Bob Arum what’s down the road for Pacquiao.
Arum had said a couple of days ago that Pacquiao’s next fight will be staged at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and that the opponent will be named before Christmas.