Sometimes it feels like Manny Pacquiao and Bob Arum take a poll of which fighter fans want the Filipino champion to fight next – and then do the exact opposite.
For days now, rumors have circulated that Timothy Bradley is likely the next fighter to get a shot at Pacquiao after they both make quick work of their November 12 opponents. Pacquiao, of course, is fighting Juan Manuel Marquez that night and, Bradley, for his part, will star on the undercard in a bout versus Joel Casamayor.
The speculation only increased when Bradley officially inked a long-term deal with Arum’s Top Rank group. With the move, Bradley essentially brought himself into the fold and, theoretically at least, made himself the most viable candidate to get dibs on a main event showdown against Pacquiao.
Given Arum’s longstanding history of giving his golden goose a fight against other Top Rank fighters, Bradley’s move makes sense.
Recently, Freddie Roach talked to Ring TV and pounded home the notion that Pacquiao vs. Bradley will likely be on the agenda in 2012.
"Bradley is a tough kid," Roach said. "But I guess that if you have to mention Tim Bradley, then I'm like, 'Is that all that we've got? Tim Bradley?' Since Bob Arum has signed him, that's what everyone is assuming - that Manny Pacquiao is next for Tim Bradley. So maybe I will have to assume that too.
"Tim Bradley ducked one of my guys, Amir Khan, and he would get knocked out by my other guy, Manny Pacquiao."
Roach’s reaction is hilarious on a number of levels. Everything from his dismissive tone regarding Bradley’s shot at standing toe-to-toe against Pacquiao to repeatedly saying that he’s “all we’ve got” to, best of all, calling him out for ducking Khan is classic. It’s vintage Roach – brutally honest and basically saying what everyone at home is thinking.
Too bad the other geniuses that hover around Pacquiao don’t share Roach’s common sense approach to life. And just in case anyone was starting to doubt whether Roach still understood the fans like he did back in the day, he dropped this little tidbit:
"Everyone still hopes that the fight is out there with Mayweather, I'm sure. I'd rather see Mayweather against Manny than Tim Bradley against Manny. But is Pacquiao-Mayweather going to happen? We just have no idea," Roach said. "I guess if Floyd Mayweather doesn't come to the table, then that is all we've got, Tim Bradley."
There is nothing more that needs to be said – Roach said it all for us.
No one wants to see Bradley get whipped by Pacquiao because, at the end of the day, that’s precisely what would happen. He'd get whipped in boring beatdown. And yes, a fight against Mayweather would be ideal, even after all of the pitfalls and annoyances that everyone has experienced over the last two years.
Then the man who runs Wildcard Gym in Hollywood would officially be the greatest man in the world.