If the boxing world has its way, Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will not fight again next November.
Despite the fact that Pacquiao has a rematch clause in his contract that permits him to avenge the travesty that was June 9’s split decision, and despite the fact that Bradley would gladly extend his 15 minutes of fame with another showdown versus the Filipino champion, the people have spoken.
We don’t want to see this fight again. Not in five months. Not in five years. Not ever.
Even though contrarians and apologists continue to insist that Bradley legitimately won or almost legitimately won his new title fair and square, most neutral observers are refusing to ignore reality. They -- unlike the folks who are either blind or are purposely trying to troll actual boxing fans -- saw that Pacquiao quite clearly outfought his opponent in all but three or four rounds. On top of that, they also saw that even if you were to figure the fact that Manny took the first two minutes of every round off into the equation, Bradley still didn’t do enough to clinch the win.
But that’s neither here nor there. Everyone knows the truth at this point, even if they want to pretend that they don’t. What matters now is what happens next. And what'll happen next? Well, as noted by The Province:
“The brokers are telling us if we make a Bradley rematch, no one will go,” Arum said.
Todd duBoef, president of Arum’s Top Rank promotional company, said he’d like to see the results of polls asking fans if they want a rematch before committing to a second fight.
The overwhelming opposition to a rematch of June 9’s catastrophe should cinch its fate, presuming Arum and duBoef are being honest when they say that they’ll take the public’s opinion on this into account.
Which then brings us to the most obvious question: if not Bradley, who will Pacquiao fight next?
The easy answer would be Juan Manuel Marquez – who has fought and almost beaten Pacquiao on three separate occasions. After their November 2011 bout, a fair amount of people walked away saying that Dinamita should have climbed out of the ring that night as the victor. In fact, some conspiracy theorists cite that as the reason for Pacquiao’s most recent loss.
Beyond Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV, a showdown versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be ideal. However, given the fact that Mayweather is locked up until August, it’s unlikely that he could or would prepare for the biggest fight of his career on that short of notice.
Outside of those two, the cupboard is pretty bare in terms of potential opponents.
And that may ultimately drive a rematch between Pacquiao and Bradley as much as anything that may have happened on June 9. We might end up with Pacquiao vs. Bradley II not because anyone wants to watch it, not because anyone wants to see Pacquiao avenge a loss he shouldn't have gotten in the first place, but really just because there is literally nobody else for the Filipino champ to fight.
Get ready for the rematch, kids. Maybe this time Pacquiao will knock Bradley out, only to have the judges rule it as a Bradley win by knockout.
(Kudos The Province)