Bradley comes out of his second fight with the “Pac-Man” in a bit of an odd situation. He clearly fought better—and more inspired—in the rematch, even in defeat, than he did during his victory over Pacquiao two years ago.
That first fight has been covered from every possible angle over these past few months, but suffice it to say, boxing fans didn't give him any credit for that victory, largely because almost nobody thought he actually won.
He definitely didn't win Saturday night's rematch, but he did give a better account of himself and is likely to see his stock rise somewhat, even though he suffered his first loss.
Bradley came out and tried to do exactly what he promised. He loaded up on his shots and went all-in looking for the knockout early. It didn't come, and he tired himself out trying, but he was in the fight until the final bell.
The question for "Desert Storm" now becomes: Where does he go from here?
Top Rank does have a plethora of potentially attractive options available for a comeback fight.
Rios is a possibility. He was fed to Pacquiao for his comeback, and he's exciting enough to bring intrigue but limited enough to not upset the apple cart.
Ruslan Provodnikov served as an effective, albeit highly dangerous, foil for Bradley the last time he needed a comeback opponent. The victory over the intense, power-punching Russian launched him into the realm of boxing's stars, and it helped erase a lot of the lingering doubts following the Pacquiao controversy.
Bradley could also await the loser of the May 17 clash between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado in Los Angeles. The winner will move on to face Pacquiao—barring something unexpected— for the WBO Welterweight Championship, but the loser would remain a credible opponent.
Regardless of who he faces next, expect Bradley to bounce back just fine. There's no shame in giving it your all and coming up short against a future Hall of Famer.