Thursday, June 08, 2023  |


Tim Bradley in the running to face Pacquiao, says Arum

Fighters Network
Photo by Chris Farina - Top Rank

Photo by Chris Farina – Top Rank

The Tim Bradley and Teddy Atlas experiment is off to a great start. Bradley shut down any concerns about whether Atlas could make a difference in a 32-year-old who spent a decade with Joel Diaz in his corner by scoring his first knockout in four years against a fighter who had never been knocked out before.

Bradley looked sharper, more elusive and stronger with Atlas in his corner. It didn’t take long after he sank Brandon Rios with a body punch before talk of whom Bradley would face next had sparked up on social media and amongst the boxing press.

It looks like Bradley may have entered the race to face Manny Pacquiao in his final fight. And considering that the series is 1-1 (despite the one for Bradley being widely criticized as a dubious decision), the fight could make a lot of sense. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum confirmed that Bradley was officially in the running at the post fight press conference.

“Manny Pacquiao will review the tape of this fight, the tape of Terence Crawford’s fight and Amir Khan and he’ll make a decision,” Arum said. With such a remarkable performance against a fighter that Pacquiao was unable to stop, Bradley could very well be the frontrunner for the fight.

But don’t ask Bradley if he wants Pacquiao next because he’s just basking in the glory of his latest victory.

“Isn’t Crawford fighting Pacquiao?” Bradley said in a half-joking manner as Crawford sat in the crowd and smiled. “I just want to relax and let my wife figure out what’s next.”

Nothing has been set in stone for Pacquiao next but speculation has run rampant. Tonight’s performance makes the decision that much more difficult for who will get the opportunity to knock off Pacquiao in his final fight. There’s no doubt that it would be interesting to see how this version of Bradley would fare against the fiery Filipino and even Bradley pondered aloud what would happen if they were to meet again.

“I don’t know because Teddy hasn’t even looked at the tape yet,” Bradley said when asked if his new trainer could correct what went wrong in Bradley’s last fight. “But I’m sure he would come up with the perfect game plan.”

Maybe we will get to see.