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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Manny Pacquiao’s next fight likely to be against Timothy Bradley

Manny Pacquiao Timothy BradleyManny Pacquiao is already making plans for an upcoming fight next year, and his next opponent is likely to be Timothy Bradley.

While promoter Bob Arum was making the rounds this week and telling everyone that Pac-Man vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. needs to happen, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who helps promote Mayweather’s fights, says he hasn’t received a call from his rival promoter about setting up the match. Instead, Arum has actually listed three potential opponents for Pacquiao — none of whom are Mayweather.

Arum told ESPN’s Dan Rafael on Wednesday that Timothy Bradley, Ruslan Provodnikov, and a fifth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez are possibilities for Pacquiao. He says the fight would likely be in April back in the US, which seems to be a sign that the experiment in China did not go as well as hoped.

In an interview with SI’s Chris Mannix, Arum indicated a rematch with Bradley is most likely.

“[Juan Manuel] Marquez isn’t going to fight him,” Arum told Mannix. “I’m not going to get on my knees to get Marquez to do it. Period, he isn’t going to fight him. So I have Bradley, Marquez and Ruslan Provodnikov. What I would like to do is if Pacquiao fights Bradley, have Ruslan fight Marquez. That would punish Marquez for refusing to fight Pacquiao.”

Pacquiao and Bradley are Top Rank Promotions fighters, while Marquez is promoted by Mexico-based Zafner Promotions and Arum’s Top Rank. That explains why the same opponents keep being mentioned for Pacquiao — Arum only likes having his fighters go against each other rather than setting up cards that include other promotions’ fighters.

But this actually isn’t a bad idea. I’m not sure how much intrigue there would be for a fifth installment of Pacquiao-Marquez after JMM destroyed Manny last time. And there is some unfinished business between Pac-Man and Bradley after Manny was robbed in a bad decision. Plus, with Bradley beating Marquez in October, there is more allure to him.

If Pacquiao and Bradley meet in Las Vegas in April and Arum sets up a proper promotional tour, I certainly think the fight would sell well. Being in China last time caused them to lose a lot of attention in the US.



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