It is being reported by RingTV.com that Manny Pacquiao will fight Timothy Bradley on June 9, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a face-off between the WBO Welterweight and Light Welterweight champions of the world. This news comes five days after Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced that he will be fighting Miguel Cotto on May 5 at the same location. Both men were 'forced' to select other opponents once they were unable to reach an agreement on a fight between themselves.The three fighters being considered for Pacquiao once the Mayweather fight was ruled out were Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson and Bradley. If a fight can be arranged between Marquez and Peterson, the winner is expected to face the winner of the Pacquiao/ Bradley bout.
The over used phrase "been there, done that" does not even begin to describe the general attitude Boxing 101 had towards yet another Marquez fight. There is little interest in sitting through a fight that will inevitably result in a total of 48 rounds with the same result. In all likelihood, Pacquiao will not lose any close fight by decision from here on out until such time he fights Mayweather (if he ever does).
Peterson defeated Amir Khan in December 2011 for the IBF/WBA Jr. Welterweight titles in controversial fashion and under unusual circumstances. Even though Peterson was not culpable in that controversy, it is highly questionable that he has earned the right to immediately catapult to a level worthy of facing the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world in Pacquiao. A rematch between Peterson and Khan would be more appropriate and a better overall fight for fans. However, it appears Peterson may fight Marquez next if an agreement is reached between both sides.
This leaves Bradley who is the best of the three by default. That said, he is the undefeated WBO Light Welterweight champion at 28-0 and is an effective pressure fighter. It is not Mayweather, but this fight should bring a level of excitement given each fighter's style. It certainly is not expected to be a dud like the Bradley vs. Devon Alexander bout that took place in January 2011. However, we may still see some head butts given Bradley's tendency to lead with his head and the awkwardness involved when a right-hander (Bradley) faces a lefty (Pacquiao).
Pacquiao and Mayweather have both moved on. So should we.
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