It appears as though Timothy Bradley, not Floyd Mayweather Jr., has won the opportunity to square off against Manny Pacquiao in the first serious bout of 2012.
Over the last week or so, boxing fans have slowly but surely come to terms with the fact that Pacquiao vs. Mayweather is more of a pipe dream than anything else. Despite all of the positivity we saw flowing towards the end of last year, despite all of the phony sacrifices and faux enthusiasm, the top two boxers in the world clearly have no intention of squaring off against one another at any point in the foreseeable future.
So what does that mean? It means that Pacquiao was realistically only considering a fight against the guys that we suspected he was considering all along – not Mayweather. All along, Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson and Miguel Cotto were viewed as potential opponents for the champ. And of that foursome, Bradley and Cotto were seen as the most likely candidates.
Early last week there were some murmurs that Cotto had a leg up on the competition as far as a fight against Pacquiao went. However, since then, certain disagreements about what weight the fight would be held at apparently killed all the progress that had been made.
Today, Tim Sladeck of MP8.ph (Pacquiao’s official site) published an exclusive report that a fight between Pacquiao and Bradley was apparently official. As per the piece:
I just received a text message from a top member of Team Pacquiao- He stated to me it has been confirmed.
Manny Pacquaio will be fighting Timothy Bradley on June 9th 2012
Just a note of warning – this report has not been independently verified by us.
Still, given everything we’ve learned up to this point, Pacquiao squaring off against Bradley this June sort of falls in line with expectations. In fact, just this morning we pointed out that the most probable course of events for Pacquiao over the next year would likely feature fights against Bradley and the winner of a potential Marquez vs. Peterson summer showdown.
But yeah, all things considered, this is probably the least interesting match we could have gotten. Right, Freddie Roach?
Stay tuned, we’ll try to verify the status of these rumors as soon as we can.