By Frank Warren
MANNY PACQUIAO clashes with Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas tonight, knowing that main rival Floyd Mayweather Jnr is just a few miles away.
It’s the closest the two best pound-for-pound boxers in the world will get for now as they continue to stall on the biggest fight going.
That is because Mayweather is currently sitting in downtown Clark County Detention Centre in a 6ft by 10ft cell.
Mayweather, who saw off Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto last month, began his 87-day sentence last Friday for domestic violence but could be out in about two months for good behaviour.
That means he could be back in the ring again in November or December this year.
Despite multiple breakdowns in negotiations, lawsuits and a war of words over the years, Pacquiao said of Mayweather this week: “I’m not treating him as my opponent, my enemy or anything. I’m treating him as my friend, my brother. I’m praying that all things will be fine for him.”
The Filipino superstar, 33, has agreed to go ahead with random blood testing leading up to any bout with Mayweather but wants a 50-50 financial split.
Mayweather, 35, disagrees and believes he deserves the bigger purse as he is the bigger draw.
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum, meanwhile, have warned their WBO welterweight title holder to take care of Bradley first.
Bradley, 28 — who holds the WBO light-welterweight title which is not on the line — is evasive, fast and has a good chin.
Roach reckons Bradley is no killer but tries hard and that Pac-Man should eat him up, while Arum says it’s an even fight and Bradley could win if Pacquiao fights like he did against Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
I, too, expect another tough fight for the Pac-Man but see him again winning a points decision.
Hayes' Lux changing
ANOTHER positive step this week saw the Luxembourg Boxing Federation vote in favour of supporting the David Haye-Dereck Chisora showdown at Upton Park on July 14.
The show also has the backing of the WBO and WBA — with their International and Intercontinental titles both to be contested — who are affiliated with the British Boxing Board of Control. The undercard will be announced on Tuesday.
WAYNE McCULLOUGH handed the Olympic torch over to former team-mate Michael Carruth this week as it passed from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, followjng a symbolic ceremony at the border.
McCullough, 41, won silver at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 while Carruth, 44, won gold to become Ireland’s first-ever boxing gold medallist.