Before Floyd Mayweather fought his first two fights under his new Showtime deal, everyone knew who the opponents are going to be. That’s why Amir Khan claiming he is already signed on to box with the undefeated champion doesn’t sound so far fetched, even though there are those claiming that Manny Pacquiao also has a shot of finally getting the long overdue mega fight to happen.
Pacquiao probably has his own plans. The Top Rank fighter who recently beat Brandon Rios in Macau is once again going to fight in Las Vegas, already having a venue booked for April 12. Who is it going to be? As always, Bob Arum is keeping the cards close to his chest. However, it seems that it’s down to three opponents: Timothy Bradley, who beat Manny Pacquiao in a scandalous split decision back in June 2012; Ruslan Provodnikov, a Junior Welterweight champion who lost to Bradley in the 2013 fight of the year for most, or Juan Manuel Marquez, who recently lost to Bradley and beat Pacquiao in the fourth meeting between the two on December 2012.
Who will it be? Bradley is a good option for Pacquiao, who’d probably love to get that one sorted out after the mess the ringside officials made of that fight last time. Marquez? There’s money there, for sure, but a fifth time? Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez last time, and the constant rumors of PED use by Marquez aren’t going to keep Pacquiao with plenty of peace of mind going into the fight. Marquez would love to fight Bradley, who beat him in October, but as always in the boxing world, everyone is waiting to see what Pacquiao and Mayweather do.
Provodnikov? He lost to Bradley but beat Mike Alvarado to claim a title belt at 140 lbs. He trains with Freddie Roach, which means he’ll have to find a new trainer on very short notice if he’ll get into the ring with Pacquiao.
Mayweahter? He is denying his next opponent is Amir Khan, although he denied Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez were his first rivals coming out of prison. Both turned out to be the first two fights he took on, winning comfortably and making a lot of money on the way. Khan hasn’t really impressed since getting over two consecutive losses (one of them highly controversial against Lamont Peterson, who also tested positive for illegal substances), beating Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz.
According to Khan, he has signed his page of the contract, while Mayweather and his team haven’t made their decision yet. Mayweather is fighting on May 3, which means his next fight won’t be Manny Pacquiao, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the future. Four fights left on his massive Showtime deal, and he needs to bring better numbers than his bout with Guerrero. Sergio Martinez is an option, but the names who can bring big numbers are very few after already fighting with Alvarez. Even though he really doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao at all and the chances of a Golden Boy and Top Rank fighter(s) getting in the ring together is quite slim, it’s impossible to count this option out at the moment.