NEW YORK -- Welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr., who survived a tough fight against challenger Ruslan Provodnikov in March, publicly challenged Juan Manuel Marquez to a showdown of Manny Pacquiao conquerers.
Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) told ESPNDeportes.com that the fight he really wants right now is against Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), pointing out that a battle between the two would be more interesting than a fifth meeting between Pacquiao and his Mexican rival.
According to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao and works well with Marquez promoter Fernando Beltran, the two options for Marquez are Pacquiao or Bradley. As recently as Wednesday, Arum said the most likely scenario was Pacquiao-Marquez V in September, either in Singapore or Macau.
But this could be a pressure strategy to attract Bradley, who quickly jumped into the fire.
Bradley made his statement a few feet away from Provodnikov, minutes after the Boxing Writers Association of America awards dinner, attended by both fighters.
"To be honest, I want it to be Marquez," said Bradley. "I would like it to be a showdown between the two guys who recently defeated Pacquiao. Why wait? I'm here and would love that shot. To me, Marquez is currently the best option."
Bradley took the welterweight belt off Pacquiao in June 2012 in a controversial split decision that even put the credibility of Las Vegas' judges under the microscope.
Against Provodnikov, Bradley was nearly knocked out several times, but in the end his toughness and conditioning helped him claim a close victory by unanimous decision (another that some questioned).
"If Marquez refuses to fight against me, he is going to lose money," Bradley said. "Listen to my words: He is going to lose money. Right now, the big payout is with me. I would be available to fight anywhere -- Macau or Singapore. To me, Marquez is the only option right now."
Bradley, also said he would have no problem accepting a rematch against Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs).
"The first fight against Ruslan was tough. If he wants a rematch, I'm willing to sign up for that," Bradley said. "In a second fight, it would be easier for me to defeat him. I already know how. A second matchup wouldn't be as hard as the first one."