Tim Bradley: Who's Next After Manny Pacquiao?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Win or lose to Manny Pacquiao on April 9, Tim Bradley appears to have a few stellar next fight options ahead.
A win or a respectable loss for Bradley, a former two-time WBO welterweight champion, could earn him another shot at the WBO belt which will be granted to the winner of the upcoming Sadam Ali vs Jessie Vargas bout.
(Image courtesy of HBO)
The WBO has promised to give the winner added significance but given Bradley's reputation and Pacquiao's presumed exodus from boxing, a solid performance (in defeat) would probably be enough.
WBO president Paco Valcarcel recently stated: "You [Tim] have been an outstanding, honourable and loyal WBO junior-welterweight and welterweight champion of the world and the doors of the WBO will always be open for you," as reported by Sky Boxing.
"Finally, I am pleased to inform you that we are preparing a special recognition for the Pacquiao vs Bradley 3 winner - two remarkable fighters and worthy ambassadors to the WBO. Wishing you all the best."
Bradley vs the winner of Ali vs Vargas is probably Tim's most realistic next fight scenario, especially given they are all promoted by Top Rank.
Bradley vs Vargas ended in controversy last year when Referee Pat Russell prematurely halted the bout in the final round, mistaking the warning tap for the final bell. When the referee intervened, Vargas was attempting to knockout a dazed Bradley who had just absorbed an extremely hard and well-timed right hand.
Tim managed to stay upright after the thunderous Vargas shot and was seemingly lucid enough to make one believe he would have easily survived the final four seconds.
Bradley vs Vargas 2 would certainly have a storyline.
Last year, there was a lot talk that Tim might move up to 155 lbs to face future hall of famer Miguel Cotto.
Stylistically, Cotto vs Bradley is winnable for Timmy as Miguel has had difficulty in the past with opponents who possessed tremendous speed, impeccable footwork and were extremely durable (Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout).
Moreover, Brads woukd have little to lose. If he's competitive in defeat, he will have lost to a legend two weight classes north of his comfort zone. There would be no shame in that.
If Bradley won, he may be propelled to near-mainstream stardom.
His stock and drawing power would certainly rise and he'd likely become a small 'cash cow' a la Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. prior to the latter's decline.
Obstacle: Cotto might be lured by a bigger pay day and face Juan Manuel Marquez instead.
Juan Manuel Marquez (Rematch)
After Tim won a split decision on Marquez in Fall 2013, JMM lobbied for a rematch but Marquez vs Bradley 2 never gained much traction. Their first bout, from an entertainment standpoint, was above satisfactory and despite the close verdict, many aren't convinced a rematch would be any different.
Obstacles: Fans' reaction from first fight. Also, JMM might be lured by a bigger pay day and face Miguel Cotto instead.
Who remembers when Tim Bradley and Amir Khan represented the second or third biggest rivalry in boxing?
In Spring 2011, then WBA Jr Welterweight Champion Amir Khan and his trainer, Freddie Roach, unsuccessfully tried to entice then WBC/WBO Jr Welterweight Champion Tim Bradley into agreeing to a unification title match-up.
Unbeknownst at the time to Khan and Roach, Bradley was looking to sign a long-term promotional deal with either Golden Boy Promotions or Top Rank and had put fighting on hold until to address promotion-related matters.
Heavy animosity between the fighters ensued when Khan and Roach told the media Bradley was scared to fight. In fact, Brit stoked the fire months later when he told Tim to "grow a pair" as the fighters crossed paths as attendees at a boxing match.
Are Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan two welterweights on a collision course?
Regardless of how he fairs against middleweight Canelo Alvarez in May, Khan is likely to drop back down to welterweight so Tim Bradley might be an option. Should Khan lose to Canelo, a win over Bradley would be just what the doctor ordered.
Obstacle: If Khan is throughly dominated by Canelo, Amir's handlers might not want their man in the ring with a fighter of Bradley's pedigree so soon.
Who will Tim Bradley face next after April 9?
Pacquiao vs Bradley 3 | News