Manny Pacquiao, finally, has his opponent for a June 9 fight. Not Floyd Mayweather that the boxing world should have, but Timothy Bradley, fighting at Welterweight for the first time in his career, coming in with an undefeated record but a small chance of winning anything but a lot of money.
In terms of a bigger fight, the Mayweather vs Miguel Cotto fight, with Mayweather agreeing to move up the weight ladder serving as the kicker for Cotto, a Junior Middleweight champion. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao usually bring in similar numbers, but Mayweather is probably the bigger draw. And there’s no doubt that Cotto makes their fight the much more anticipated PPV headliner.
Miguel Cotto was among the four lined up to fight Manny Pacquiao, but they couldn’t agree on a weight. Pacquiao refused to fight at the 150 catchweight, which ended any chance of a deal happening. Arum didn’t have his grasp on Cotto anymore, so the Puerto Rican went on to close the best deal, financially, available. Mayweather’s last fight before he goes into prison is sure to be a great seller. Pacquiao vs Mayweather? Maybe in November.
As for Bradley, who hasn’t been very busy in the ring lately, he’ll get what he wanted all along since signing with Top Rank. A fight with Pacquiao, and finally, some big money. Bradley is considered by many as one of the best fighters in the world, but his style has never won him many fans. His opponents haven’t made him a big draw for PPV nights as well. Maybe as an under-card, but despite winning titles at Light Welterweight, Bradley is usually mentioned as someone who didn’t want to fight Amir Khan.
Michael Koncz has already begun selling the fight - We’ve been talking about this for over a month and we always had a Plan B in case Mayweather didn’t happen. Last time I went to the Philippines, I took Manny tapes of all of the opponents we were talking about and he watched them with his wife, Jinkee. Bradley was one of them, as everybody knows.
Bradley is a young, undefeated fighter who deserves a chance. Manny is excited. Until we name an opponent, boxing is out of Manny’s mind. He’s busy working in congress. But he gets interested in boxing again when he has an opponent and a fight. Now we know we have a date, an opponent and he’s excited.
Bradley’s chances? Not too high, but he is in his prime, which is already a nice start. He’s got great speed, and has faced good, tough, although unattractive commercially opponents, including beating Lamont Peterson who was also considered as an opponent for Pacquiao. He’ll probably have to take the Amir Khan rematch ordered by the WBA.