Floyd Mayweather: Tim Bradley, Not Manny Pacquiao, Is Best Option for Next Fight

Ryan DavenportContributor IDecember 8, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 05:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. reacts after the end of the 12th round against Miguel Cotto during their WBA super welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 5, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The boxing world has been holding its collective breath to see whether Floyd Mayweather Jr. will ever get to take on Manny Pacquiao, but at least as of now, it's unclear whether that will ever happen. 

Regardless of the reasons, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight has not materialized, so unless something unexpected happens soon, Mayweather's camp should focus on setting up a bout against another marquee opponent: Tim Bradley. 

Bradley, the only man since 2005 to be awarded a win over the Pacman, would be a legitimate test for Mayweather, as it would pit two undefeated fighters against each other, which is the most high-stakes scenario Mayweather can hope for until he and Pacquiao eventually meet. 

Sure, Bradley's victory over the Filipino superstar was controversial, with many believing that the California native actually lost the fight, but the fact that Bradley was even on par with the sport's second biggest star is reason enough for Mayweather to want to set up a bout. 

That reasoning is apparently not lost on Roger Mayweather, Floyd's uncle and trainer, as Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported that the elder Mayweather thinks his nephew's next opponent should be Bradley. 

In fact, Mayweather said that he'd run the idea by Bob Arum, the legendary boxing promoter who represents both Mayweather and Bradley, and Arum apparently liked the idea of a Bradley-Mayweather bout as a prequel to the highly anticipated matchup between Mayweather and Pacquiao (via the Times):

Roger Mayweather said he’s even taken to making a personal visit to the office of Pacquiao's and Bradley’s promoter, Bob Arum, to suggest the Mayweather-Bradley bout, followed by a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

“Arum liked the idea, making Bradley first,” Mayweather said. “He said, 'I hope we can make that happen.’ ”

Doing so would be the first time Arum has worked with Floyd Mayweather since they parted in 2006. Harsh feelings remain between the fighter, Haymon and Arum.

Obviously, Roger Mayweather is not in a position to be making these decisions for his nephew, but it's encouraging to hear that somebody in the undefeated five-time world champion's camp views Bradley as a favorable opponent. 

No, it won't carry the same weight that a tilt against Pacquiao would, but Bradley is nonetheless an undefeated fighter, which gives him enough credibility to instantly make a fight against Mayweather a must-see bout. 

Mayweather has nothing left to prove to anyone, but beating the guy who took down his rival just months ago would be a nice consolation prize until a date with Pacquiao is arranged.