WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight WBO junior welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after also considering Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez and Lamont Peterson.
Terms with Bradley still need to be worked out before the contract is signed, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com.
Fans have been hoping to see Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in what would be among the biggest boxing megabouts in history, but Mayweather announced Wednesday that he will fight junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted 5-0 to grant him a one-fight license at the conclusion of a one-hour hearing.
I'm fighting Miguel Cotto on May 5 because Miss Pac Man is ducking me, Mayweather tweeted after the announcement in what was a continuation of earlier tweets from previous weeks taunting Pacquiao.
ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reported that Mayweather's Nevada boxing license normally would have been a rubber stamp, but the commission insisted he appear in order to question him about the criminal domestic violence case he recently made a plea deal in.
Since Mayweather faces an 87-day jail sentence at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas for a September 2010 incident with his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children, it is unprecedented for the commission to have granted him a license to fight with such a pending jail sentence.
Mayweather was supposed to begin his sentence on Jan. 6, but the judge in the case, Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa, pushed back his report date to June 1. His attorney, Richard Wright, successfully argued that he should be allowed to fight on May 5 in order to honor an existing deal with the MGM Grand and because his fight would inject $100 million into the ailing economy of Las Vegas.
The commission approved the one-fight license as long as Mayweather continues to perform all of his court-ordered requirements, does not get into further trouble and does not fight his June 1 report date. If he does fight, the commission said it would impact his ability to be licensed in Nevada in the future.
Bradley, who is undefeated at 28-0, would have to move up in weight to challenge Pacquiao for the welterweight title. Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's advisor, said Bradley may present a concern because not only is he a fast, experienced fighter in his prime at 33, but he also has a tendency to lead with his head, which is especially problematic for a lefty like Pacquiao against a righty like Bradley.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum plans to match up the winner of Pacquiao-Bradley against the winner of Juan Manuel Marquez-Lamont Peterson in November.