By Leighton Ginn
Could the wait be over and could Timothy Bradley finally face Amir Khan?
Or will he be lured into fighting his “brother” Terence Crawford?
Will Jessie Vargas get the rematch he has been demanding?
Is Kell Brook, ranked by some as the No. 1 welterweight in the world, interested in Bradley?
Bradley is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao on April 9, 2016. It was the second loss in Bradley’s career, both coming at the fists of Pacquiao.
Although knocked down twice, Bradley didn’t appear hurt and could be ready to go in the fall. After the fight, however, Bradley didn’t look interested in talking too soon about what’s next.
But Bradley did emphasize he will continue boxing. So here’s a look at some possible opponents.
AMIR KHAN: This might be the most appealing option for Bradley, but has complications to being made.
They were the top two guys in the light welterweights in 2011 and they were in negotiations for a fight. However, Bradley’s contract with his old promoters ran out and he signed with Top Rank in effort to set up a fight with Manny Pacquiao.
From that moment, there has been bad blood between the two. Prior to the weigh ins, Khan said something to Bradley.
Khan has a huge fight May 7 against Canelo Alvarez, where he will be a big underdog. If Khan loses, it could open the door to finally fight Bradley.
Questions remain as to Khan’s relationship with Al Haymon. The manager for Khan is in the middle of a $300 million anti-trust lawsuit again him by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions, who are promoting the fight.
Haymon’s fighters rarely fight outside the PBC banner. Bradley’s promoters, Top Rank, also have a lawsuit against Haymon.
De La Hoya said he never spoke to Haymon during negotiations for the Alvarez fight. Does that mean Haymon wouldn’t get in the way if Bradley and Khan wanted to fight next?
It would be a great option for both fighters.
KELL BROOK: The IBF champion is the No. 1 welterweight according to The Ring and wrote he is looking for a big fight. Timothy Bradley would fit that bill.
Sticking point of a fight like that will be venue. Being a big UK star, Brook would probably want the fight in England. While Bradley won his first title in England, he’s probably not interested in crossing the pond and he is the more accomplished fighter of the two.
But if Brook is interested in being a big star and wants a big stage, he will need to fight in the US.
JESSIE VARGAS: A rematch seems more appealing since Vargas won the WBO title that Bradley vacated to fight Pacquiao. Their first fight ended in controversy when referee Pat Russell stopped the fight at the 10-second warning instead of the final bell.
Vargas had rocked Bradley earlier in the fight and hand him wobbly before the end of the fight.
Outside the one punch, Bradley was dominating the fight. Vargas contends he had Bradley in major trouble and hurt badly.
Following the fight, Bradley switched trainers and adding Teddy Atlas to his team. Vargas said he’s greatly improved. Both fighters are with Top Rank, so it’s a doable fight.
TERENCE CRAWFORD: This will be the most unlikely option. Timothy Bradley has said repeatedly he would not fight Crawford, his former sparring partner he calls his brother.
They are both promoted by Top Rank, and apparently there’s been push to make this fight happen.
Bradley is a loyal person who values his friendships, so you’d think no amount of money would make this fight possible.
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV: A rematch of the 2013 fight does sound intriguing, especially since Bradley’s former trainer, Joel Diaz, is working with Provodnikov right now. The problem is, Provodnikov is 3-3 in his last six fights.
If he had a better record, it would put pressure on Bradley to take the fight. But at .500, it just wouldn’t make sense for Bradley from a financial standpoint.
MIGUEL COTTO: It’s always tricky dealing with Cotto. It would be an attractive fight, but Bradley would probably have to go up in weight, which he’s indicated he’s ready to do.
However, Atlas has hinted he’s not interested in seeing Bradley go up in weight. But it could be lucrative if Cotto does come calling.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Since Khan is going up in weight to face Alvarez, it certainly would make sense for Bradley, who has been more successful at 147 than Alvarez.
However, Alvarez is a big, strong fighter at 155. It would be a tough fight for Bradley to make his debut at a heavier weight class.
But there’s push for Alvarez to have a mega-fight against Gennady Golovkin in September. So if Alvarez wins, more likely it will be Golovkin.
If Bradley gets the call for Alvarez, which he said in the past he would welcome, his team will have some serious discussions, because it would be a big pay-per-view showcase.