Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is supposed to announce the opponent for his next blockbuster boxing promotion any day now.
It will be either Amir Khan or Marcos Maidana. It definitely won’t be Timothy Bradley, the undefeated WBO welterweight champion.
And if you ask Bradley he believes his name will never be mentioned by Mayweather as a possible opponent.
“The fact that my name is not in the mix with Mayweather, it doesn’t surprise me at all,’’ Bradley said. “Because I’m one tough, tough dude. I think he knows that I’m tough. That’s my opinion.’’
Bradley proved that against Ruslan Provodnikov in a back-and-forth war of attrition that he won in a brutal 12-round decision. It was voted the Fight of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Mayweather conducted his own poll of whom he should fight and he listed only two possible choices – Khan and Maidana. Khan, who has 1.4 million Twitter followers, won the poll, which was convenient for Mayweather since he has been negotiating a contract with Khan and his representatives for the last two months.
Neither Khan nor Maidana figure to present Mayweather with much of a challenge in the ring.
Bradley is a different story. He has more experience against top quality opponents than Khan and Maidana and he is undefeated (31-0, 12 KOs). He also has something on his resume that Mayweather doesn’t – a victory over Manny Pacquiao.
Bradley won a controversial split decision over Pacquiao in 2012, handing the Filipino sensation his first loss in nine years. Bradley also has a victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, something that he shares with Mayweather.
At one point not too long ago Mayweather, Pacquiao and Marquez were No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 on the Pound-for-Pound best list in boxing. That means that Bradley has victories over two of those three. But he doesn’t think he’ll ever get a chance to fight the man at the top.
Bradley said he has never had a meaningful conversation with Mayweather.
“I spoke to Mayweather once and it was for a brief moment after the Marquez fight,’’ Bradley said. “He told me congratulations and I said thank you. I told him, “Hey, I stole the blueprint from you.’’ And he said thank you. I was like nice talking to you. That was it.’’
Bradley has just started an eight-week training camp in Palm Springs, California in preparation for a rematch against Pacquiao in Las Vegas on April 12. He is looking forward to a more convincing victory over Pacquiao this time around.
“I win this fight and everybody will be screaming for a Mayweather-Tim Bradley fight,’’ Bradley said. “I’m here. We’re on different paths. If Mayweather wants to join my path, he can. He’s his own boss. If he doesn’t, he can do what he does and I’ll do what I do. I have my own legacy to worry about. ‘’