Sports

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: The Floyd Mayweather Factor

| by Alex Groberman

Boxing fans who aren’t particularly keen on the idea of Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fighting again this November are beginning to grow very uneasy. Despite their pleas and even with the obvious lack of enthusiasm for Pacquiao-Bradley part deux, all signs seem to be pointing to a rematch.

There have been some rumors in recent days that, perhaps, Bob Arum would push Pacquiao into giving Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto a second look – but for now those are just rumors.

It was pointed out by ESPN’s Dan Rafael recently that Arum is well aware of the fact that both Marquez and Cotto have a history of generating bigger paydays than Bradley, however, both also bring certain baggage that Bradley doesn’t. Marquez’s style tends to bother Pacquiao more than anyone from Top Rank would care to admit; Cotto has a history of being disagreeable regarding what weight he wants to fight at.

Unfortunately, that leaves Bradley. He doesn’t bring in as much dough as the other two options, but he comes with less headaches.

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The one shining ray of hope that the anti-Pacquiao vs. Bradley folks had up to this point was that maybe Floyd Mayweather getting out of jail would change things. That, ideally, he and his arch rival could work out some sort of tentative agreement that would postpone Pacquiao’s November fight until Mayweather could work himself into game shape, and that everyone would be spared the rematch of a bout that they didn’t really want to see the first time around.

Regrettably, in an interview with ESPN, Arum more or less killed that dream.

"I just hope we will be able to get the Mayweather fight done. I don't think we can do it in November with Mayweather just being released from jail and so forth.

"I have had no signal from anybody on his side that he would be back so quick for a fight Nov. 10. I would think if we can make a deal it would be in the spring, in April, after March Madness."

He’s right, of course. As great as it would if Pacquiao and Mayweather could strike some sort of agreement, the notion of Mayweather being able to fight straight out jail is very far-fetched. There were numerous reports during his bid that he wasn’t getting the right amount of food daily and that he was really struggling from a mental standpoint, so it just doesn’t seem realistic that Floyd would accept the biggest fight of his career on this short of notice.

No, it’s going to be Bradley, Marquez or Cotto.

Regardless of who it is, though, Arum expects a decision to come down the wire soon.

"Time flies and we're going to have to the announcement and the media tour the week of Labor Day because the week after that is our other big fight," Arum told Rafael. "So we have a very small window."

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