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Marquez leaning toward Bradley rematch?

Juan Manuel Marquez, right, may seek out another shot at Timothy Bradley Jr. -- this time in Mexico. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The notion that Juan Manuel Marquez is weighing a Ruslan Provodnikov fight seems to be a misconception. According to promoter Fernando Beltran, Marquez is instead interested in a rematch with Timothy Bradley Jr., and would prefer for the bout to be scheduled on Mexican soil.

In an interview with ESPNDeportes.com, Beltran said that he has had informal conversations with Marquez, and all of them have focused on Bradley and not Provodnikov, who last Saturday stopped Mike Alvarado to claim a junior welterweight title.

"A lot of people saw Juan Manuel defeat Bradley," Beltran said, although the official fight judges saw it differently, finding a split decision for Bradley. "It was a close fight, a true war filled with strategies. Juan Manuel nullified the age difference and proved he is both a great athlete and a great person.

"That's why Juan Manuel would seek the rematch against Bradley, and also the fact that he would get another shot at becoming a five-time champion in five different categories, an opportunity that Ruslan can't provide."

Marquez, whose family has urged him to retire in recent years, and who has lately hinted at it himself from time to time, at the moment seems to be leaning toward attempting to secure that elusive fifth title in as many divisions, a feat that would be a first for a Mexican boxer.

But with many of his recent fights in Las Vegas having been embroiled in controversy, Marquez and his promoter seem keen on ensuring more favorable terms for his next (and final?) attempt.

"If Juan Manuel wants to step away from boxing," Beltran said, "there's no better way of doing than in front of your home crowd, and having another chance to make history."