Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pacquiao Faces Bradley; Marquez Next?

source: Nick Giongco | The Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao rumbles with Tim Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas with a victory likely setting him up for a fourth fight with Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in November in case Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to play hardball.

The prospects of a fourth fight becomes even more realistic now that efforts to stage a Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown appear to have gone down the drain, leaving Mayweather to tap Miguel Cotto as foe for May 5 and Pacquiao opting to pick on Bradley.

Marquez’s name once again rang loud as the 38-year-old counterpuncher is close to signing a deal to square off with Lamont Peterson in mid-July with the winner being eyed by Top Rank chief Bob Arum to clash with the Pacquiao-Bradley winner.

Of course, everything will be dependent on the outcome of their respective fights, according to Arum, who has seen the potential of staging a fourth bout between Pacquiao and Marquez if Mayweather is unavailable. Pacquiao is an incumbent congressman, while there are reports emanating from Mexico City that Marquez has grand political plans as well when general elections are held there in July 1.

In case everything goes to plan, Pacquiao and Marquez will fight in what would be a battle between lawmakers, that is if Marquez pursues his political plans and gets elected. Getting a deal done with the undefeated Bradley was painless since he also fights under the prestigious Top Rank banner.

Bradley has actually agreed to move up in weight and give in to virtually all of Pacquiao’s demands since he readily admits that the Filipino is the certified top draw.

“Tim is very excited to fight Pacquiao and he knows that he will be fighting a machine,” said Cameron Dunkin, who manages the 28-year-old native of Palm Springs, California, as well as newly crowned world superbantamweight king Nonito Donaire.

Both Pacquiao and Bradley fought the last time in November 2011 at the MGM Grand where Pacquiao narrowly defeated Marquez and Bradley halted Joel Casamayor of Cuba. The Pacquiao-Bradley fight was finalized late Monday (early Tuesday in Manila), according to Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz, who is in the US.

“It is done,” said Koncz, who is set to return to Manila on Thursday morning.