source: Raj Parmar | 3MoreRounds.com
If one door closes on you, you shall find three more doors to walk through if you look hard enough. This is exactly what happened to Top Rank and Manny Pacquiao when news broke that Floyd Mayweather was in fact going to face jail time for his alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend.
With all eyes on May 5, 2012 in what was the date scheduled for Floyd’s next fight, the boxing world was fairly optimistic that Manny Pacquiao would be the one designated as his next opponent. As reports of ongoing talks between the two camps were being spread, it seemed that the elusive mega-fight was getting closer and closer to happening. Though these two pound for pound kings may still tangle in the ring sometime in 2012, it appears May 5 is out of the question as Floyd’s scheduled 90 day jail stint in early 2012 will likely prevent him from fighting in May.
Top Rank however is taking this negative and turning into a positive; and instead of waiting until Floyd becomes available they are now pushing for Manny to take on another top notch contender during the first half of 2012. Three names that have come up as options are Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto and Tim Bradley.
It should be noted that Manny has lost a bit of his invincible aura after his last two fights against Marquez and Shane Mosley, as the Filipino icon struggled with Marquez and could not put away the seemingly scared Mosley. Floyd in the meantime has resurged a bit following his knockout of Victor Ortiz and dominating effort over a Mosley who was coming off a career-defining knockout of Antonio Margarito.
Many sports outlets noted the sudden shift in momentum between the unstoppable Pacquiao and hated Mayweather and were now tipping Floyd as the top pound for pound boxer on the planet and the favourite to beat Pacquiao. Manny was even quoted as stating he would take a lesser cut than Floyd if the fight were put together; a signal that his team also acknowledged the shifting momentum.
It is for this reason that the additional fight Manny will take before possibly fighting Floyd works greatly to his advantage. Not only will he sneak in more activity, but he can gain back some lustre and help put himself back into the major star position of the super-fight with Floyd. So the question is who should he take on amongst the three possibilities that would best help him get back to where he needs to be?
Marquez would be an ideal choice due to the closeness of their last bout and it would give Manny a chance to redeem himself in what many felt was a lacklustre effort by the “Pacman”. However these two have fought three times already and it looks like they will always have close, disputed outcomes every time they match up.
Miguel Cotto looked good in stopping Margarito and has stated that he would beat Manny if they met up again. While Cotto does look like he’s getting back to top form, he is still not as good as he was before he lost to a possibly handwrapped Magarito and a win here by Manny would not do much to add to his TKO win over Cotto back in 2009.
Tim Bradley is on the rise after signing with Top Rank and is slowly but surely establishing himself as one of the top boxers on the planet. His knockout of veteran Joel Casamayor followed up his big win over the undefeated Devon Alexander earlier this year. He may not be totally ready for a fight with Manny just as yet however he would be a fresh face and name for Pacquiao.
Therefore based on the possible three options it seems that Tim Bradley would be the best choice as he is on the rise and entering his prime. A solid win by Manny here would no doubt help vault him back up to where he was pre-Mosley / Marquez 3 and would give him a huge boost at the bargaining table if the Floyd talks resume.