Whether you want to see it or not, Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley moved one step closer to becoming reality this past Wednesday when Bob Arum’s Top Rank company signed the reigning WBO light-welterweight champion to a contract.
As Opposing Views noted earlier this week, Bradley’s signing was very likely a perquisite to him getting a shot at the No. 1 pound-for-pounder in the world in Pacquiao. While Arum may not come out and officially confirm he prefers to hand out matches against his Filipino golden goose to stars who under the Top Rank umbrella – the general feeling among the boxing community is that you need to be a Top Ranker to get a shot at the better Top Rank fighters.
Bradley, of course, is being hyped as a major draw on the undercard of Pacquiao’s November 12 showdown against Juan Manuel Marquez. He will be facing off against veteran Joel Casamayor in what most believe will be the perfect platform for a coming out party for the 28-year-old.
The hope, obviously, is that folks, who purchase the pay-per-view (PPV) for Pacquiao that may not have otherwise been familiar with Bradley’s work, will see him, love him, and pine away for the opportunity to see him get pummeled by Pacquiao. And to be fair, there is a very real possibility that this will in fact happen.
It’s now been a few weeks since Sergio Martinez came out and publicly stated that he would be willing to go down to 150 pounds to fight Pacquiao, however, Arum and his superstar are remaining oddly silent on the matter. We all know why they’re playing this game but, at the very least, they could have enough courtesy to come out and address the issue so that we can either analyze it further or put it to bed entirely.
And, of course, we are no closer to Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. now than we were two years ago. Mayweather seems entirely content lobbing cheap shots from a distance and bragging about how much money he earned via his Victor Ortiz sucker punch. He doesn’t want to get off his stance regarding how Pacquiao is refusing to “take the test,” and Pacquiao, for his part, seems detached from the whole thing at this point. With all of the lies, deception and contradictions surrounding that fight – it’s no wonder that fans are losing interest in the possibility that they could even put the superfight together.
There were also murmurs of Pacquiao vs. Ortiz fight – but that was mostly just wishful thinking out of Ortiz’s camp.
So, where do we stand at this point in time? It’s pretty simple.
Most likely, Pacquiao’s next opponent after his victory over Marquez will be Bradley. In a just world, it would be Martinez. And, ideally, it would be Mayweather.