Floyd Mayweather: Tim Bradley Is Ideal Opponent for Next Marquee Fight

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 9, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 05:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. addresses the media after his unanimous decision victory against Miguel Cotto after their WBA super welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 5, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be wise to follow the advice of his uncle, who advocates Tim Bradley as the ideal opponent for Money May's next marquee fight in 2013.

Speculation is stirring after Manny Pacquiao was knocked out in the sixth round of his bout Saturday night in the MGM Grand Garden Arena against archrival Juan Manuel Marquez. The long-anticipated matchup between Pac-Man and Mayweather may not happen now that Pacquiao's prowess is in serious doubt.

In light of the fact that Bradley's last victory was over the Congressman, Roger Mayweather expressed his feelings on what nephew Floyd should do with the immediate future of his career (h/t Los Angeles Times):

I’d like my nephew to fight Tim Bradley. Bradley got the … win over Pacquiao. I know that’s not a hard fight for my nephew.

He’s a bigger name than the other guy. He’s undefeated. He’s going to try. If he can give the fans a little bit of a show, hey, it is what it is. If they can make that fight, it will really show what my nephew could do to Pacquiao, too, and stop these people from saying he’ll never fight Pacquiao, or that he’s scared.

These are all great points, and they give the argument for Bradley substance, credibility and logic. Especially with Pacquiao losing and all the "ducking the fight" accusations that have bounced between both camps, there is no reason for Mayweather to fight Pac-Man now.

As far as Juan Manuel Marquez is concerned, it would be difficult to imagine him next in line to fight Mayweather necessarily, since he got toasted in a 12-round bout in 2009 by unanimous decision.

The draw for the fight would still be huge, since both Mayweather and Bradley are undefeated. It would also be a big win for boxing as a sport in America, as it would pit the two marquee names in U.S. boxing against each other.

However, Floyd's uncle does have a slight hole in his argument.

Bradley's victory over Pacquiao is still the subject of much debate—especially since the WBO's review of the fight indicated that Pac-Man actually had the winning score (h/t ESPN).

That could be a potential pitfall in the immediacy of setting up a battle between Mayweather and Bradley, since Pacquiao is calling for a rematch. It's widely considered that Pacquiao beat Bradley despite the split-decision loss, so how would beating Bradley prove what Mayweather could do to Pacquiao?

The future is very much in doubt for Pac-Man after the loss to Marquez, against whom he owned a 2-0-1 record prior to the bout. Those decisions were met with polarizing debate, which is an indication of just how close all these fighters are.

Mayweather's uncle does a lot to dismiss Bradley's viability as a serious threat to put the first blemish in Money May's record.

But the reason the move would make the most sense is because Mayweather will have to adjust to life back in the ring after an arrest and two-month incarceration for domestic abuse. It's not as if Bradley is a punching bag, but Mayweather will definitely be a huge favorite.

With plans to fight twice in 2013, Bradley would serve as an ideal stepping-stone into the next opponent for Mayweather—whomever it may be.