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Manny Pacquiao vs Tim Bradley 2: A strong possibility for April 12?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Last week, fight legend Manny "PacMan" Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) dominated rising upstart Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs), winning a lopsided twelve round decision in impressive fashion. Having dropped a controversial twelve round split decision to Timothy Bradley prior to suffering a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez six months later, it was Pacquiao's first win since 2011.

(Images courtesy of Top Rank)

Manny Pacquiao fought brilliantly and used speed and impeccable footwork to box rings around his younger foe.

It was textbook boxing at its best.

He appeared every bit the same fighter who pummeled Antonio Margarito and clobbered Joshua Clottey, demonstrating he is ready for bigger fights.

Who will Manny Pacquiao fight next?

Although it's too early to determine Pacquiao's next opponent, it appears he'll fight again on April 12, 2014 and in the United States.

Freddie Roach was adamant about getting Juan Manuel Marquez in the ring one last time if negotiations with Team Mayweather stalled or an agreement had yet to be reached.

"Personally, I want Marquez but the thing is I can't be sure if we can get him to fight us. Bradley is there. Obviously Mayweather is a guy we want," Roach told BoxingScene.

Top Rank founder Bob Arum told the media, "We'll sit down and we'll figure it out. If you figure something out in light of a big victory, you usually make the wrong decision."

"We'll talk to Manny, we'll talk to Freddie but I know that we are tentatively scheduled for April 12, hopefully in the United States."

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Much to the chagrin of Team Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez is hellbent on rematching Bradley and has, since December 8, 2012,  maintained he has no interest in fighting Manny Pacquiao for a fifth time, regardless of the spoils Top Rank dangles in from of him.

Earlier this month, the 40 year old Mexican told BoxingScene, "I'd love to [fight again in Arena Mexico]. A rematch against Bradley [in that venue] would be phenomenal."

"That's what I have in mind, that if I fight again with Bradley it would be over here in Mexico."

If Marquez stays true to his word - and there's nothing to suggest he won't - and a blockbuster Mayweather vs Pacquiao deal can't be successfully negotiated by the end of the year, Tim Bradley (31-0, 12 KO) is Manny Pacquiao's biggest, most alluring option.

And no, Pacquiao vs Ruslan Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO) will not happen because both fighters are trained by Freddie Roach and the Russian has already stated he will not fight Manny.

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The conqueror of Ruslan Provodnikov and Marquez, RING's No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter has some clout these days and is certainly far more acclaimed than the obscure fighter who controversially upset Manny Pacquiao in June 2012.

And yes, Tim still owns the WBO version of the welterweight title, something that once belonged to Manny. 

Given the public outcry over the verdict and Bradley's recent success, who wouldn't want to see a rematch?

With two key wins following the Pacquiao bout, Bradley has legitimized Pacquiao vs Bradley 2 and is probably the common sense frontrunner for Pacquiao's next opponent.


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