Pacquiao to fight in April possibly against Bradley or Provodnikov
By Chris Williams: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum plans on bringing back his number 1 fighter Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO’s) for a quick turn around next April against either WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley or Russian Ruslan Provodnikov, according to Sports Tempo. This of course all depends on how the 34-year-old Pacquiao does in his next fight against Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO’s) on November 23rd in Macao, China.
If Pacquiao does well and easily wins the fight, then he’ll be back in the ring quickly to try and make up for lost time next April. But if Rios starches Pacquiao by knocking him clean out then Arum will likely have to cancel the idea of rushing Pacquiao back into the ring for an April date. It would seem likely that Pacquiao would need another long time off from boxing before he would be scheduled again.
Pacquiao will have been out of the for 11 months by the time that he faces Rios next month, and this is because Pacquiao was knocked cold last December by Juan Manuel Marquez. How these long stretches of time effects Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank is unclear. His contract was supposed to expire in 2014, but it’s anyones’ guess whether he’ll need to fight a little longer in order to make up for the lost fights due to him being out of action.
The last thing that Arum should be doing is scheduling fights for Pacquiao so soon after the Rios fight. We don’t even know if Pacquiao is going to be able to make it out of the bout in one piece or not, and here Arum is already looking to schedule Pacquiao’s next fight just 5 months later in April. It’s as if Arum is assuming things will go well for Pacquiao in the Rios fight, and I think that’s not the smartest thing that Arum could do. He’s got to realize that Pacquiao has a lot of mileage on him now, he’s coming off of a terrible knockout that might have done something to him, and he’ll be turning 35 in December. You don’t assume anything when you’ve got a fighter that is entering the ring under all of those conditions. Arum should just hope that Pacquiao can win the fight against Rios anyway possible so that the gravy train can continue a little while longer.
Bradley would be the best bet for Pacquiao and that’s probably who Arum will match him against. Provodnikov is just too dangerous for Pacquiao due to his power and his ability to cut off the ring. He’s too dangerous for Arum to be putting Pacquiao in there with because the chances of Pacquiao getting knocked cold would be too high against this guy. Besides, Bradley has a strap at 147 and it would give Pacquiao a title to validate him if he were to win. I’m not sure if it’s a good match-up in terms it being a potentially exciting fight for boxing fans, because we just saw Bradley run his way to a victory over Juan Manuel Marquez. You’ve got to assume that Bradley will run from Pacquiao for 12 rounds and make it really ugly to watch.