Timothy Bradley, Manny Pacquiao and Ruslan Provodnikov
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will face off against either unbeaten American Timothy Bradley Jr. or Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov for his next fight in April, according to promoter, Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum.
“It’ll either be Provodnikov or Bradley,” Arum said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal.
But Arum stressed that the final decision will still be up to the Filipino champ.
“We’ll let Manny decide, we’ll get a deal made with whoever he chooses and hopefully make the announcement in a week,” said the promoter.
Bradley infamously booked a highly controversial split decision victory over Pacquiao when they fought in June 2012.
Provodnikov, meanwhile, is a former sparring partner of Pacquiao. He previously said he will never fight the Filipino before changing his mind last week.
One fighter who is no longer considered as a potential Pacquiao foe is the Filipino’s great rival, Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.
“Marquez has put himself out of the running because he doesn’t want the fight,” Arum told ESPN.com last week.
“He hasn’t priced himself out of the fight, he’s just not interested at any price. What he’s saying for him, it makes a lot of sense. He’s like, ‘How can I do any better against Pacquiao than knocking him out?’” he added.
Marquez knocked out Pacquiao when they fought for the fourth time in December 2012.
Arum said it is possible that Marquez can fight whoever Pacquiao chooses not to.
“If Manny decides to fight Provodnikov, then we can try and make a Bradley-Marquez match-up,” said Arum. “But let’s see what happens with Manny first.”
Pacquiao is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in late November.