Manny Pacquiao trains for his upcoming boxing match with Timothy Bradley Jr..
Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. both realize almost every boxing fan wishes Floyd Mayweather Jr. had been standing next to Pacquiao at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Tuesday.
But when Pacquiao and Mayweather failed to make a deal for the fight everybody wants to see, Pacquiao moved down the list of contenders to make a fight he hopes his fans will enjoy.
Pacquiao and Bradley are getting an early start on the promotional circuit for their welterweight bout on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Even while the Filipino congressman and his unbeaten opponent posed for photos and praised each other, Pacquiao and his camp realized Mayweather's absence looms over the proceedings.
"I'm willing to fight Mayweather," Pacquiao said. "But I have to fight the guys who are hungry to fight me. Timothy Bradley is strong, and he can punch. He's a good boxer, so it's a challenge to fight a guy like that."
Pacquiao is "probably the best fighter in the history of boxing," said Bradley.
"He's a great role model, a great guy, but Manny Pacquiao has reigned for a long time, and I really feel like I'm the new face of boxing."
Boxing could need a new face as soon as next year. Mayweather has fought sparingly in his 30s, and Pacquiao says he'll consider retirement in November after his next two bouts.
After stops in Las Vegas and Hollywood for promotional shoots, Pacquiao is taking a Nike corporate jet to New York for more publicity, and hopefully a meeting with Jeremy Lin before the Knicks' next game. "Jeremy Lin, I'm proud as an Asian," said Pacquiao. "We're very proud of him. Keep up the good work."