Timothy Bradley has stated that beating Juan Manuel Marquez on October 12th in Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack Center will enhance his legacy.
Bradley said, “I chose Marquez because he’s a legend. He just knocked out Pacquiao and it was a decision that was based on my legacy and what I want to do in this sport. I would love to get a win over Marquez. That would definitely enhance my legacy.”
While he is right in that a victory over the Mexican would better serve his legacy, he should know that it is not only opposition that creates one. There are various factors involved, including how entertaining you are to the public, and unfortunately for Bradley he does not excel in this area. In his last fight against WBO welterweight challenger Ruslan Provodnikov, both the contender and champion went toe to toe and had the viewing audience on tenter hooks. Bradley was floored in the opening round and decided to throw out his usual clinical style in order to exchange with the hard hitting Provodnikov and was fortunate enough to walk away with a decision. But it is those kind of fights that creates legacy. On the flipside, of course there is the danger that Bradley will do more harm to himself in the future by fighting this way, but it is this form of entertainment in boxing where fighters become etched forever in the minds of devoted and general fans.
Convincing wins are another aspect. Many believe that he did not beat Manny Pacquiao last year and that he should not have even won more than three rounds against the Filipino former champion. You do not create legacy by receiving gift decisions. Unfortunately for Bradley, even a rematch may not serve him all that well considering that Pacquiao is most certainly on the decline and has been since fighting Antonio Margarito. Being brutally knocked out by Marquez will possibly only have worsened that decline, so a win over a faded Pacquiao would do little to enhance his legacy. But that all depends how Pacquiao looks against Brandon Rios later on this year and in any following contests.
The fans will decide whether Timothy Bradley will develop any “star power” in the future and I hope he does because fighters like him, who want to do nothing but face the best in the sport, deserve nothing but praise.