Manny Pacquiao will meet Timothy Bradley on June 9. (Photos by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
RingTV.com reports that terms have been agreed to for a June 9 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, which is the fight that has been expected since Miguel Cotto chose to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 5 instead of facing Pacquiao.
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO) and Bradley (28-0, 12 KO) will meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, live on HBO pay-per-view. It's a fresh and very credible matchup for the Filipino icon, as the 28-year-old Bradley is considered the top 140-pound fighter in the world, and a crafty, smart guy who knows his way around the ring. This is no limited brawler or fighter tailor-made for Manny Pacquiao. This is a tough opponent.
Top Rank likely is going to this fight before they'd have preferred to, but options were limited with Cotto moving on to the Mayweather pastures. Top Rank signed Bradley last year, and put his first fight with the company on the Pacquiao vs Marquez undercard in November. It wasn't much of a fight, as Bradley faced a washed-up version of former lightweight champ Joel Casamayor, but Bradley won without much trouble at all.
In theory, Top Rank would have liked to build Bradley's name value a bit more, with at least one more fight. But he's either beaten everyone to beat at 140 or the guys he hasn't (such as Amir Khan) aren't exactly in a great position right now.
Without Cotto, and with his status at 140 pounds secure thanks to his own successes and the failures of others, there was no more time to wait. It's Timothy Bradley's turn to take a crack at Manny Pacquiao.