By Rick Reeno
According to Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, the next opponent for Manny Pacquiao could be revealed as early as next Tuesday. Pacquiao's return is scheduled to take place on June 9th, likely at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. While Arum refused to fully confirm the opponent, it appears Timothy Bradley (28-0, 12KOs) is going to secure the lucrative opportunity.
There were four names on Pacquiao's list of potential opponents - Juan Manuel Marquez, Lamont Peterson, Timothy Bradley and Miguel Cotto. The first choice, by Pacquiao and Arum, was Cotto. But, the Puerto Rican star is now three fights forward as a full fledged junior middleweight and refuses to fight Pacquiao at 147. Arum is attempting to match Marquez and Peterson against each other - which only leaves Bradley.
"We wanted Cotto, but he said that he can't make 147. If the other two guys are fighting each other and Cotto can't make the weight, then it only leaves one guy, but lets see what happens," Arum told BoxingScene.com.
"We won't announce anything until after the Super Bowl. I don't want to take anything away from the Chavez fight [on Saturday]. We want to wait until after the Chavez fight, and after the Super Bowl [to make the announcement]....probably Tuesday."
However, Arum believes anything can happen between now and next week.
"What if Cotto has an epiphany and suddenly calls and says he can make 147?," Arum noted.