MANILA, Philippines – American Timothy Bradley, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion, is the latest fighter who wants to face up to 7-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Bradley, undefeated with 26 wins (11 knockouts), said he wanted to face Pacquiao after defeating Luis Carlos Abregu of Argentina on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
“I’m saying it right now. I want Manny Pacquiao at 147 pounds. Come break down this wall,” he told HBO’s Max Kellerman as quoted by Chris Robinson of Examiner.com.
Bradley saw off Abregu by unanimous decision with the scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California.
Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight champion, was supposed to face another unbeaten American, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on November 13. But negotiations for the super fight failed again after Mayweather snubbed the deadline for him to sign the deal. Their first proposed fight last March 13 fell apart because of the fighters’ disagreement on drug testing.
Following Mayweather’s noncommittal to the November 13 bout, Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, began to consider Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto and Mexican Antonio Margarito as possible opponents.
Cotto and Margarito are also being promoted by Arum, the big boss of Top Rank, Inc.
Another potential foe for Pacquiao is former two-time WBO welterweight king Paul Williams of the United States.
Arum had this to say about Bradley and Williams: “They're tremendous fighters… But Williams hasn't been promoted correctly and he can't sell a ticket. These promoters take money from HBO or Showtime or a little Indian casino and they think they’re doing their fighters a service.”
“We spend hundreds of thousands promoting our fighters. I’m not going to give them (Bradley and Williams) a free ride,” he said in a report by Mark Whicker of The Orange County Register.
However, the ultimate fight for Arum would still be Pacquiao versus Mayweather. “The fight we want to do is Mayweather. It would be a shame if it didn't happen,” the Top Rank, Inc. head honcho remarked.
Las Vegas, Monterrey or Abu Dhabi
Arum said a rematch between Pacquiao and Cotto could happen at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada or the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Pacquiao claimed Cotto’s WBO title in November via a 12th round technical knockout.
If Margarito is chosen, the venue could be held outside of the US depending if the Nevada Athletic Commission will grant him a conditional license.
Margarito has been banned from fighting in the US after getting embroiled in an illegal hand-wrap incident before his fight with Shane Mosley in January 2009.
If the Mexican does not get his license, he and Pacquiao would have to fight in Margarito’s homeland, Monterrey.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that Pacquiao wants to stage a fight in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to Irish Eden Belleza of GulfNews.com, Pacquiao’s assistant trainer Nonoy Neri said the Filipino boxing superstar and Sarangani Province congressman wanted to fight before the Filipinos in the UAE. –