Sports

Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: A Rematch is “99 Percent” Certain?

| by Alex Groberman

The aftermath of Timothy Bradley’s controversial, undeserved victory over Manny Pacquiao has been almost as strange as the victory itself.

In order to understand where we are now, it’s important to remember how we got to this point.

On June 9, Pacquiao handily beat down Bradley in what should have been a unanimous win for him. Despite the fact that the Filipino champion had thoroughly and totally punished his opponent from start to finish, the old, half-blind judges didn’t see it that. In the face of clear-cut statistical and visual evidence on who should have won the fight, the judges opted to hand a split decision victory to Bradley.

It was a hilariously awful moment for boxing on all fronts.

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In the days following that horrendous decision, folks began to speculate on whether or not they would subjected to a second Pacquiao-Bradley fight. These people were of the mind that Manny had clearly won the first time around, and that they really didn’t need to see a part deux to know what the reality of the situation was.

Enter: Bob Arum.

Usually, the Top Rank Boss isn’t exactly a man that fans can turn to for comfort and support; however, in the aftermath of that Pacquiao-Bradley train wreck, Arum came out and said that he agreed with the fans. He didn’t want a rematch either.

Just as the fans were getting ready to put on their party hats and celebrate, Pacquiao came out and said that he wanted a rematch against Bradley. Arum, perhaps because he felt inclined to back his guy up, backpedaled from his previous stance about not wanting to see Pacquiao-Bradley II and said if Manny wanted it he’d sign off on the bout.

When we last left off, Arum had given Pacquiao three options for his next match: 1.) Bradley, 2.) Miguel Cotto and 3.) Juan Manuel Marquez.

So, who is the Filipino champion ultimately going to choose? Well, as reported by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports:

One boxing source on Thursday told Yahoo! Sports that it's 99 percent certain there will be a Pacquiao-Bradley rematch, but Arum said Pacquiao did not indicate that to him. Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee, left on Tuesday for a vacation in Israel.

Now, it’s important to note – that’s just what a source says. As Iole pointed out in his piece, if Pacquiao wants the bigger draw and higher PPV numbers, a fourth showdown versus Marquez would be the way to go. Per the report:

If he goes by pay-per-view numbers, he'll pick Marquez. Pacquiao's fight with Marquez last year sold 1.3 million on pay-per-view, Arum said. He said the Pacquiao-Bradley fight did 900,000 sales, "maybe a little more."

And what about Cotto? Well, there wasn’t much said about Cotto. You have to figure that his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. this past May makes him a bit of a longshot in terms of getting a crack at the Filipino champ.

At the end of the day, we probably won’t get an answer to who Pacquiao will fight next until next month. But if we had to bet on it right now? Bradley will probably be the one stepping into the ring opposite Manny on Nov. 10.

(Kudos Yahoo! Sports)

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