Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley: What’s Taking So Long?

| by Alex Groberman

When Timothy Bradley picked up his undeserved and completely empty victory over Manny Pacquiao on June 9, fans quickly realized that a rematch between these two was inevitable.

Despite the fact that Bradley hadn’t proven himself to be anything even remotely resembling a top pound-for-pounder that night, and despite the fact that he hadn’t even really earned his first fight versus the Filipino champ – a sequel was to be expected.

In the days after that horrible bout, Pacquiao made it abundantly clear that he was leaning towards using his rematch clause. Bob Arum, after initially saying that he didn’t want a repeat of June 9’s travesty, quickly folded under the pressure of the money he would undoubtedly earn if the match went down.

And even though potential fights versus Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto were on the table, neither seemed to evoke much enthusiasm from the Filipino champ.

A couple of weeks later, we started hearing stuff like this:

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.

And this:

Pacquiao told The Associated Press from the Philippines on Thursday that he would prefer a rematch rather than Bradley giving up the WBO welterweight title that he won on a split decision because "people may think I just usurped it."

"My supporters shouldn't worry. We're going to get that title," said Pacquiao, who has the option of an immediate rematch with Bradley in his contract.

And, of course, this:

-- Manny Pacquiao says he wants a rematch with Timothy Bradley after a five-judge panel assembled by the WBO championship committee unanimously favored the Filipino fighter in a video review.

So, obviously, the signs of a looming rematch were put out there for the whole world to see a couple weeks back.

Which begs the question: what’s the hold up? Why is Pacquiao taking such a long time to figure out who he will take on this coming November? It doesn’t seem to be a decision that requires that much consideration.

If he wants the easy fight – Bradley is his guy. If he wants a competitive challenger – Marquez is the pick. If he wants to pick a completely random option – Cotto is his man.

No matter what, though, the choices are known and don’t come with much baggage.

So again: what’s the hold up? What’s there to think about?

Are their some possibilities that we hadn’t counted on that the champ might be considering? Arum made it seem like Bradley, Marquez and Cotto were the only viable options – but was that just spin for the media?

That’s the only reasonable possibility for why an opponent hasn’t been announced yet, right?

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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