It’s always guesses and speculation in the world of boxing, trying to figure out the next step for any fighter. Manny Pacquiao? The logical and wanted step is Floyd Mayweather Jr., although at the moment, it doesn’t seem to be these legends in their prime will meet anytime soon. Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, thinks WBO Light Welterweight champion, Timothy Bradley is the next opponent for the Pac-Man.
Is he the right opponent? Probably not. Everybody knows it’s the Pacquiao – Mayweather fight the Filipino fighter wants, but can’t seem to get. Mayweather avoiding, or just making legitimate claims – it’s a point of view and who do you prefer I guess. According to Mayweather, it’s more likely the Amir Khan fight is his next move, after Khan adjusts to the new weight class.
Amir Khan, trained by Freddie Roach as well, sparring with Manny Pacquiao, wanted a shot at Bradley numerous times, to make it clear who’s the best at Light Welterweight (Khan holds two belts, IBF and WBA). Bradley has been dismissing that option and avoiding the Brit for quite a while. Now that he’s joined Bob Arum’s Top Rank stables, the rumors about the Pacquiao – Bradley fight are now swirling.
Bradley isn’t the most lucrative option, Roach knows, but you gotta take what you get I guess – Bradley is a tough kid. But I guess that if you have to mention Tim Bradley, then I’m like, ‘Is that all that we’ve got? Tim Bradley?’ Since Bob Arum has signed him, that’s what everyone is assuming – that Manny Pacquiao is next for Tim Bradley. So maybe I will have to assume that too.
Not easy finding fights for Pacquiao. Few want to take up the challenge, and the Welterweight division doesn’t have a unlimited supply of worthy challengers. Moving up, maybe to fight Middleweight king and Diamond belt holder, Sergio Martinez, sounds like a good option money-wise, but I’m not sure Manny would like to move up another step in the Weight ladder, unless the catchweight (150?) is extremely lucrative and manageable.
Tim Bradley ducked one of my guys, Amir Khan, and he would get knocked out by my other guy, Manny Pacquiao. Everyone still hopes that the fight is out there with Mayweather, I’m sure. I’d rather see Mayweather against Manny than Tim Bradley against Manny. But is Pacquiao-Mayweather going to happen? We just have no idea. I guess if Floyd Mayweather doesn’t come to the table, then that is all we’ve got, Tim Bradley.
Bradley (27-0-0-1) will be fighting Cuban defector Joel Casamayor, a former champion well well past his prime, an undercard fight to Pacquiao’s third encounter with Juan Manuel Marquez. Yes, it’s that hard for the best fighter in the world to get a decent fight, although Marquez has been troublesome for Pacquiao in the past, drawing with him in 2004 and losing in a split decision over three years ago.
Despite all that, anything but a Pacquiao win, by knockout or unanimous decision, will be a huge surprise. I’ll be hugely surprised if Bradley doesn’t keep his undefeated record after the Casamayor fight. Will he fight Pacquiao? If the money’s good, why not. It’s bound to be a bigger purse than the prospect of the Amir Khan fight. If you go down, at least get your pockets filled up.