By Sean Crose
Manny Pacquiao is said to be announcing his next opponent this Friday on truTV’s Top Rank boxing telecast. ESPN’s Dan Rafael Tweeted on Monday that he had spoken to Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, and that Arum told him the announcement would come on said broadcast. Interestingly enough, Tim Bradley – as Rafael made clear- is known to do broadcast duties on truTV cards. Will Manny and Tim be making a kind of face-to-face announcement? Will the world be getting Pacquiao-Bradley III? Will anyone even be interested if that’s the case?
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Pacquiao facing rising star Bud Crawford. There’s also been talk of Pacqauio facing Amir Khan, the talented Brit who seems to be eternally waiting for a Pay Per View battle. Although there’s certainly been talk of Manny-Tim part III, too, it is undoubtedly the bout fans would be least interested in seeing.
While it’s true that Manny is still one of the most popular fighters on earth and Tim has entered an exciting partnership with the colorful trainer, Teddy Atlas, this is clearly not a bout fans would be clamoring for. Indeed, as far as most are concerned, Pacquiao has handily beaten Bradley twice. Although the California native was given a controversial decision win over Pacquiao in 2012, it was a decision largely hated and unrecognized by fans.
Furthermore, the second Pacquiao-Bradley fight wasn’t exactly a Pay Per View knockout, either. Why, then, would Arum and company want a third go round? Truth be told, they may not. Just because signs may be pointing towards Manny-Tim III doesn’t mean the bout is actually going to happen. Perhaps Bud Crawford will indeed get his chance. Or perhaps Amir Khan will finally get his turn in the spotlight.
It’s good to keep in mind, after all, that truTV isn’t NBC or ESPN, and getting fans to tune in to see Pacquiao make an announcement may just be a smart marketing ploy by Arum. Then again, it’s also good to keep in mind that Arum is known to say a whole lot of things…which means this news of a Friday evening announcement might have to be taken with a grain of salt.
Either way, Pacquiao will have to pick his next appointment – whoever it is – soon. He’s said to be fighting next in April. It’s also said to be his last fight, although – let’s face it – no one can tell for sure.