I was sick about awards, couldn't nobody cure me
Only playa that got robbed but kept all his jewelry
Kanye West - Diamonds Are Forever
Kanye went on to say a lot of things during his then modern day Puffy-esque penchant of purveying over a classic. Who could blame him? Flattery knows no bounds when it comes to imitation.
That is, unless it's wrought with limitation.
I have a feeling that both reigning WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley and the resurgent legend Juan Manuel Marquez can relate to the erstwhile West delivery of that phrase some time ago. Both maintain the posture and demeanor of fighters who feel as if they've been pillaged seeking atonement.
Its curious actually, especially in the case of Marquez.
Having suffered the depths of despair following his penultimate match-up with arch-nemesis Manny Pacquiao, one would think he'd abandon any attempt at further glory after vanquishing the Filipino icon in Hollywood fashion.
But he doesn't follow a script or have regards for cameras.
As for Bradley, he has no such Game 6, Michael Jordan-like championship finish to brag about over Pacquiao. In fact, everytime that fight gets mentioned he probably re-visits some form of depression. Just like he actually told us he doesn't remember saying he was "concussed" after a brutal affair with Ruslan Provodnikov, we don't believe him when he says he won 8 rounds against Pacquiao last June. He's lying through his teeth and he knows it, and its the reason why he fought so uncharacteristically wild against Provodnikov.
He wanted to prove something.
I think of what's about to transpire on October 12th, and I imagine two proud warriors seeking the crowning jewel of their achievements. It may or may not be so in the annals of history, but amid PED scandals (Marquez) and notions of irrelevance (Bradley), one would expect them to fight as if pursuing blood diamonds for a mantle all of their own.
Bradley vs. Marquez
This actually has fight of the year written all over it. The sport may not have two more fiercely, competively stubborn fighters, like Bradley and Marquez paired in 2013. Bradley showed against Provodnikov that he can win a fight on the other guys terms. He did this, in part, because he "won" while losing on Pacquiao's terms. He still feels the sting of fighting this way, the results of his last fight be damned. Marquez has been plagued with the spector of "cheater" since before last Christmas, and is uncomfortable with his rivals' insistence that he got a "gift" via lucky punch. You bet your ass he wants a 5th fight with Pacquiao, but he wants it on his terms with a belt.
And he'll have one.
I can't get over Bradley during and after the Provodnikov fight, and I think it will affect his performance againt Juan Manuel. Tim went all warrior, too much so, and will not relent or resist the notion of war with Marquez. One of the most intelligent and precise combination counter-punchers the sport has ever produced, look for Marquez to get the better of Bradley during fierce exchanges and ultimately subdue him in the 11th round.