FANS weren’t the only ones disappointed when, from promoter Top Rank’s shortlist of three, Timothy Bradley was chosen as Manny Pacquiao’s next – and potentially final – opponent. The pair will meet for a third time on April 9 in Las Vegas, but despite an official running tally of one win apiece, most observers felt the Filipino deserved to win their first bout and triumphed in the rematch quite clearly. The selection of Bradley also left Amir Khan and Terence Crawford – the other two names previously in the running – unhappy and seeking alternative opportunities; Crawford has an underwhelming match against Hank Lundy on February 27 and, although Khan has just been made the mandatory contender for the WBC welterweight title – the vacant strap will be decided in the contest between Amir’s one-time conqueror Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero on January 23 – the Bolton man does not have a fight lined up yet this year.
But Pacquiao’s trainer and confidant Freddie Roach, who once also coached Khan, has revealed that neither he nor his charge rejected a showdown between former sparring partners; it was Manny’s broadcaster.
“The thing is he’s not a big pay-per-view draw,” Roach told Boxing News. “We had talks about him and I know him very well, he’s a good boxer. His speed would give anyone in the world trouble, he’s a very good fighter, but his name got thrown out very, very quickly by HBO. HBO didn’t want that fight.”