Before Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced that he will fight Miguel Cotto on May 5, both were debated as possible opponents for Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao-Mayweather appears as the most important fight in boxing – if it ever happens – and a Pacquiao-Cotto rematch of their 2009 smash could certainly have generated heat up. Scores
But with Mayweather and Cotto now specify to meet for Cotto’s junior middleweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, both seemingly came off the panel for Pacquiao, who instead is going nearer to a fight with junior welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr.
Pacquiao will fight June 9, also at the MGM Grand, and Top Rank stablemate Bradley is the leading candidate.
“We’re debating about the fight with both parties,” Top Rank chief executive officer Todd duBoef expounded. “We are in the procedure of having the conversations with (Bradley chief) Cameron (Dunkin) and we’re additionally having them with the Pacquiao staff. It’s a very active dialogue.”
Bradley might move up in weight to test Pacquiao for his version of the welterweight title. After leaving co-promoters Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson – a case that’s still in dispute – Bradley signed last year with Top Rank with the awareness that, though not a contractual commitment, he would be in the leading to face Pacquiao. Las Vegas odds
When Top Rank boss Bob Arum visited Pacquiao latterly in the Philippines, he went there to discuss 4 possible opponents apart from Mayweather — Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez (for a 4th fight), junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson and Bradley.
Arum is in addition trying to draw together a Peterson-Marquez fight, leaving Bradley as the likely adversary for Pacquiao.”We’ve had talks regarding Bradley,” Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s confidant said. “But we have not agreed to take that fight yet. I had told Bob a few weeks back not to finish anything (with Marquez and Peterson) until you’ve gratified Manny and we complete something.”
Koncz said he was disappointed the fight among Pacquiao and Mayweather wasn’t made. He also thought they would be capable of making the Cotto rematch.
Koncz stated that he and Mayweather had talked continually about making the fight with Pacquiao over the past month or two. Koncz even put them on the phone together at one point at Mayweather’s appeal.
Koncz asserted last week, with the affirmation of Arum and Pacquiao, he offered Mayweather an assured $50 million to battle Pacquiao in May with the money to be divided 55-45 with the majority going to the winner of the fight. Mayweather had said he called the largest percentage of the money.
Drug-testing protocol had long been one of the hang-ups in prior discussions for the fight.
Koncz admitted he was surprised when it was announced that Mayweather-Cotto fight.
“We anticipated Mayweather might be off the table. I didn’t expect Cotto would be,” he announced. “I thought he was playing hardball over the weight issue. Cotto would not agree to come below 150 pounds. We wanted 147. Had he said 148? We almost certainly might have gotten that done.”
Michael Koncz said one issue about a fight with Bradley is his bent to steer with his head, a position that could be worsened due to how overlooked fights can be between a right-hander like Bradley and a lefty like Pacquiao.
“I’ve observed 2 Bradley’s fights and he is a skilled fighter but my only concern is he has comes in with his head and when have a left-hander towards a right-hander head butts happen a lot more.”
Whichever direction Pacquiao finally takes, Koncz claimed a agreement will be done for Pacquiao’s next competitor imminently.
“I’m confident that Bob and I will, with Manny’s acceptance, have an offer in place,” Koncz related.
Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs), 28 year-old of Palm Springs, California, comes to the party with a low profile, notwithstanding being an undefeated titleholder. He won a head butt-induced 10th-round technical decision against Devon Alexander thirteen months ago, then denied a unification fight with Amir Khan and sat out for one or two months while handling the lawsuit with his previous promoters.
After signing with Top Rank, he fought on Pacquiao’s November 12 undercard, stopping long-faded former light-weight champ Joel Casamayor in the 8th-round of a sloppy fight.
But Bradley is in the prime of his career, quick and professional against good contestants. He may give Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs), 33 year-old, problems.
“I think it’s a fascinating fight. Bradley is a really good fighter, really skilled in the 140-pound division,” duBoef asserted.
“Manny who is a small welterweight and the fighters match up really well. It’s actually solid fight. Our job as promoters is to get people to know Bradley.