Manny Pacquiao: Is Timothy Bradley 2 Fights Away from Dream Fight?

Justin Tate@justindavidtateCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2011

Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank Promotions, has stated his desire to sign Timothy Bradley to fight Top Rank superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Bradley has dominated the junior welterweight (140 lbs.) division over the course of 27 victories with no losses. He faces his only equal at 140 in Amir Khan on July 23.

Assuming he gets past Khan, he'll be the king of the 140 division. He'll also be a free agent since his contract with his current promoter, Gary Shaw, will have expired.

Arum also has stated his intention to place Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez in the fall, meaning Bradley would have to keep himself busy with an alternative autumn fight.

There are two options that come to mind that could put Bradley in a prime position to face Pacquiao next spring/summer.

Those options consist of Zab Judah and Andre Berto.

By battling Judah (41 wins, six losses, 28 KOs), Bradley could become the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world, assuming the sanctioning bodies don't strip any of his titles.

Former IBF and WBC junior welterweight champion Devon Alexander held both belts going into his Jan. 29, 2011 clash with Bradley. The IBF stripped Alexander of their title because they felt he didn't want to defend it against one of their unknown mandatory challengers.

The random nature of the sanctioning bodies is one of the cons of chasing all the belts at 140, but if Bradley becomes the undisputed world champion at 140, he could fall back on that great distinction and defend those titles should he lose in a high-profile match with Manny Pacquiao at welterweight (147 lbs.).

Fighting Andre Berto can yield the No. 3 spot under only Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao, who are ranked No. 2 and 1 in the welterweight division respectively.

Berto has held his position for a long time but has not had the proper competition to truly test his worth as a champion.

Berto could out-muscle Bradley, as he did when they were amateurs, but both boxers have grown as professionals. Bradley is very capable of outboxing Berto should they meet in the ring.

Berto carries a sledgehammer for a punch, but Bradley's chin has been given high acclaim. Taking a swing from Berto would raise the stock of Bradley's chin to legendary proportions if it doesn't crumble.

Beating Berto guarantees Bradley would be the only fighter left at welterweight for Pacquiao to face, likely leading to a 2012 showdown.

If Bradley can deliver against Amir Khan and either Judah or Berto, he has a good shot at building a "Fighter of the Year" résumé for 2011.

With that résumé, not only does he validate his chance to fight Pacquiao, he also helps validate his legacy with or without a victory against Pacquiao.

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