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article imageOp-Ed: After Timothy Bradley, who will Manny Pacquiao fight next?

By Leo Reyes     Mar 11, 2012 in Sports
Ruling out a possible upset by Timothy Bradley, pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao is expected to win over the unbeaten Palm Spring star as they collide on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
As of the official fight announcement, Pacquiao was 5-1 favorite. The odds, though, can change as the fight draws near. Barring accidental or intentional head butts, which could abruptly end the fight in favor of the leading scorer, Pacquiao is expected to win either by TKO or UD.
Pacquiao and Bradley are susceptible to head butts, as they usually come head first, being both offensive fighters. Bradley has a history of nearly intentional headbutts to gain advantage over his opponent.
Bradley, who is unbeaten in 29 professional fights, is fresh from his victory over Cuban veteran Joel Casamayor in the undercard of the Pacquiao vs. Marquez rematch last November 12. Bradley won via TKO in the eighth round to retain his WBO light welterweight title.
Pacquiao (54-3-2) is coming off a hairline victory over Mexican counter puncher Juan Manuel Marquez in their third encounter last Nov. 12 in Las Vegas, Nev. Marquez's camp protested the judges' majority decision, saying Marquez clearly won on points.
If Pacquiao can pull off another win at the expense of Bradley, his next foe would be hard to figure out at this time as there is no worthy challenger other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But Mayweather, assuming he wins over Miguel Cotto on May 5, will be the usual hard-to-get opponent for Pacquiao. So far, Mayweather hasn't responded to Pacquiao's sweetened offer of a 70-30 split on pay-per-view proceeds. Earlier, the unbeaten champion rejected a $50 million offer guaranteed by Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum, with Pacquiao getting the PPV proceeds.
So with Mayweather out of the equation at this time for his usual hard-line stance, who will Pacquiao fight next after getting past Bradley?
This time, Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, will probably have only two names on his shortlist, and boxing fans won't be happy with it because they're both rematch fights featuring Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez. This will of course depend on both challengers winning over their respective opponents.
But outside of the possible rematch fights, are there other worthy Pacquiao contenders?
If Canelo Alvarez will triumph over the aging Shane Mosley in the undercard of the Mayweather vs. Cotto fight on May 5, the unbeaten young Mexican champion would be one worthy opponent of Pacquiao.
Way down the line are Lamont Peterson (if he wins over Amir Khan in their rematch), Victor Ortiz (if he gets past Andre Berto) and possibly Brandon Rios, who is being groomed by Arum to share the spotlight with Pacquiao.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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