MORPHYEUS: Almost Done Deal For Pacman, Bradley
By NICK GIONGCO
February 2, 2012, 7:19pm
MANILA, Philippines — With Miguel Cotto deciding to do the tango with Floyd Mayweather on May 5, Manny Pacquiao should end up dancing with Tim Bradley on June 9 as the two camps are set to dot the Is and cross the Ts when they sit down with top promoter Bob Arum this weekend in San Antonio, Texas.
The Manila Bulletin spoke both with Arum, who is in San Antonio, and with Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz, in Los Angeles, on Thursday, and the two revealed that everything will be finalized in a few days.
Arum and Koncz will likewise be joined by Bradley’s manager Cameron Dunkin, who is already in Texas, and a formal announcement will be made soon.
Although Juan Manuel Marquez and Lamont Peterson are still unattached as they have yet to get a deal done for a fight being planned in the middle of this year, Bradley is the clear favorite to land the lucrative Pacquiao payday.
Like Pacquiao, Bradley is also under contract with the Arum-owned Top Rank outfit and his signing last year was meant to add his name to the list of fighters that will be lined up to face the Filipino hero.
“I would still look out for the best deal for Manny,” said Koncz after last-ditch efforts failed to salvage a Pacquiao-Mayweather matchup.
Arum said he is just awaiting the arrival of Koncz before he hooks up with Dunkin to finalize the deal for the Pacquiao-Bradley showdown that will likely happen at the MGM Grand.
While Bradley hasn’t reached the level of popularity that Pacquiao’s recent past opponents have, the 28-year-old California native is someone not to be messed with.
Unbeaten in 28 fights with 12 knockouts, Bradley is coming off an eighth-round stoppage of Cuban Joel Casamayor.
Arum said that Bradley, unlike Cotto, is willing to meet Pacquiao at 147 lbs, making the bout a defense of Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown.
Meanwhile, Mayweather will step up from the welterweight ranks and fight for Cotto’s World Boxing Association super welterweight crown in Las Vegas before he begins a 90-day jail sentence on June 1 after a domestic violence conviction.
Boxing fans have long sought a match-up between Mayweather and Filipino icon Pacquiao. Mayweather even made a Twitter challenge for the Asian star to “Step Up, Punk”, but they could not work out a deal so Mayweather went to Cotto.
“Miguel Cotto is a world-class fighter who can never be taken for granted and continues to prove he is one of the best in boxing,” Mayweather said.
“It will be a challenge for me to compete with him at this weight, but this is the type of test I thrive on and gives me the motivation to train even harder. I have no doubt in my mind that my title belt collection will increase once again and Cotto’s reign as champion will come to an end on May 5.”
Mayweather, who has won titles in seven weight classes, won his only other fight at super welterweight in 2007 with a split decision over Oscar de la Hoya for the World Boxing Council title.
Cotto defended his crown last December by stopping Antonio Margarito in the 10th round.
“I am here to fight the biggest names in boxing,” Cotto said. “I’ve never ducked anyone or any challenge in front of me. I have accepted everything to give the fans what they like – great and exciting fights.
“Stay tuned, because I will convincingly beat Floyd Mayweather.”
Mayweather had made a deal for a May 5 fight, but Pacquiao had wanted a June date to maximize revenue for what figures to be the biggest-paying blockbuster in boxing history, if it happens, which now cannot happen until late this year. (With a report from AFP)