Sports

Manny Pacquiao to Fight Timothy Bradley or Ruslan Provodnikov in 2014?

| by Alex Groberman

Manny Pacquiao is scheduled to take on Brandon Rios in less than a month, but all eyes are already on what he has planned for 2014. While some fighters brush off any and all talk pertaining to future bouts, Pacquiao has traditionally invited it. It helps to build hype, apparently.

This past week, he and Bob Arum were pressed on their plans for 2014. According to the Top Rank boss, presuming Pacquiao emerges victorious in November, he will most likely fight in April of next year. Why April, you ask? Well, per Arum, “Mayweather has reserved a May date whether he’s fighting a Hispanic or some guy at the MGM Grand so we’ll do it in April.”

Of course, Mayweather hasn’t actually announced a 2014 match yet. Moreover, the latest rumors linked him to Amir Khan. But yeah, you know, whatever. Hispanic, sure – close enough. Back to Pacquiao.

“This is the best that he’s looked since he was getting ready for the (Oscar) De La Hoya fight,” Arum told the media.

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The far more interesting tidbit that Arum dropped wasn’t regarding whether or not there were plans for a 2014 fight, but where it would take place.

According to the Top Rank boss, “Maybe in the US or overseas (outside the US).” Why is that significant? Well, because he and his boy cited American taxes as the reason they went overseas in the first place. And seeing as the tax rate hasn’t changed, them considering a U.S. fight is a pretty clear indicator that taxes was never the reason for the move in the first place.

As far as opponents go: Pacquiao has thus far been linked to Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov. The former is much more likely than the latter for several reasons. One, because Bradley has way more name value than Provodnikov. Two, because Bradley has beaten Provodnikov already. And three, because Provodnikov and Pacquiao train together.

Of course, this could all be moot if Pacquiao falls to Rios next month. That bout takes place at the Venetian Macao Resort & Hotel in Macau on Nov. 23.