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Manny Pacquiao's Next Fight: Pacquiao vs Bradley Inching Closer For June 9

Timothy Bradley is now the front-runner to face Manny Pacquiao on June 9. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Timothy Bradley is now the front-runner to face Manny Pacquiao on June 9. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Manny Pacquiao's next fight will be decided soon, perhaps in a matter of days, and more and more it looks like Timothy Bradley, the top junior welterweight in the world, will be his next opponent.

From and promoter Bob Arum:

"Does it look closer to being Bradley? It looks closer to being Bradley, obviously, by the process of elimination. Pacquiao's opponent will be decided late this week. We've got plenty of time."

Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO) and Bradley (28-0, 12 KO) were both featured on the November 12 pay-per-view show in Las Vegas. Pacquiao narrowly escaped defeat against rival Juan Manuel Marquez, while Bradley easily defeated washed-up ex-lightweight champ Joel Casamayor.

To say the Casamayor fight wasn't the best audition for a Pacquiao fight would be an understatement, but Top Rank is about out of options. It was always going to be either Cotto, Marquez, or Bradley. Cotto won't fight at 147. Marquez has been too difficult to deal with for a fourth fight. Bradley's ready and willing.

Arum does say that Cotto could re-enter the picture. It's no real secret that he was Pacquiao's choice for June 9, and that Top Rank was good to go with that fight. It not happening is up to Cotto refusing to drain back down to 147, where he hasn't fought since November 2009, when he lost to Pacquiao with a 145-pound catchweight.

Right now, though, all signs are pointing to Tim Bradley. And though the Casamayor fight was underwhelming, and his last fight prior to that was the snoozer against Devon Alexander, and Bradley has no fanbase, the fact is that Timothy Bradley can fight, and there are many in and around boxing who think he could be very dangerous against Manny Pacquiao, that he has the style to give the Filipino serious problems.

Do you think Bradley can do it? Is he the type of fighter who can give the 33-year-old Pacquiao his first loss in six years?

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