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Bradley or Provodnikov for Pacquiao

Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikov (right) trade blows during their fight which Bradley won via unanimous decision.

by Nick Giongco

Manila, Philippines – Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is in the final phase of selecting Manny Pacquiao’s next dancing partner.

Reports from the US say Arum is looking at two guys: Tim Bradley of the US and Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia.

The identity of Pacquiao’s next foe will be unveiled in the coming days and Arum has ruled out Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico and Floyd Mayweather of the US, two recognizable names, also being rumored to be in the mix of possible opponents.

Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz is back in the US and is set to finalize the details of the Filipino fighter’s much-awaited return to the ring being eyed for April at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“We are down to business now,” Arum told ESPN yesterday.

Marquez has been ruled out because the 40-year-old Mexican said he has nothing more to prove against Pacquiao, who he knocked out in the sixth round in their fourth fight in 2012.

Mayweather is also not on the radar screen simply because there hasn’t been any movement as far as getting the fight done despite rumors circulating on the internet the past few weeks.

What has made fight fans believe that a Pacquiao-Mayweather is being worked on is the fact that Mayweather has yet to name his rival for a May 3 fight also scheduled at the MGM Grand.

British pride Amir Khan and Argentine strongman Marcos Maidana have been mentioned as candidates but Mayweather has yet to make a formal announcement, fueling speculations that backdoor negotiations are ongoing.

Pacquiao is back in the limelight after he scored a resounding comeback victory last year against Brandon Rios in Macau.

Regardless of who among Bradley and Provodnikov gets to win the Pacquiao lottery, he is guaranteed a hefty paycheck considering Pacquiao’s drawing power.

Bradley holds a win, albeit controversial, over Pacquiao, while Provodnikov used to be his sparring partner, ensuring the boxing world of a solid storyline when Pacquiao returns.

  • Harold

    Between Bradley and Provodnikov, Bradley should first face Pacquiao


    Ruslan has no fan base yet. Tim might have a better PPV coz he is the fighter of the year and he beat Ruslan and Marquez. Pac v Marquez should be a bigger fight and surely will generate more than 1 -1.5 million PPV. Why Marquez suddenly got scared of Pac indicates that he cheated in the 4th fight. Marquez knows that he cannot cheat again and he knows that he Manny will get his revenged either by KO or a convincing win. How can a lucky one punch coupled with cheating prove that he is the better boxer? No way. In fact, had Manny waited for a second, he would have knocked Marquez in the ensuing rounds and the result would be 4 – 0 in favor of Manny. The first fight which was declared a draw was a clear win, the referee having admitted that he made a mistake.

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