The boxing world is still buzzing from the awful verdict in the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight on June 9th. Regardless of how you feel about the fight, Pacquiao will have an "L" on his ledger. That can't be changed.
One question which is worth considering though is how the loss affects the potential super fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Is Pacquiao vs. Mayweather more or less likely following Pacquiao-Bradley and its controversial outcome?
An argument could be made for each side. If you think that Mayweather has been scared to accept a fight against Pacquiao - I do not adhere to that belief - then Bradley's win could make the fight more likely.
Even though it appeared that Pacquiao deserved the victory, Mayweather will still have seen some openings he can take exploit. Pacquiao should have won, yes, but the fighter we saw on Saturday night came into the bout with seemingly his worst physique in quite some time, and is still struggling with lingering body issues such as leg cramps. It's worth noting that a peak Pacquiao likely would have scored a late TKO win against Bradley, rather than being comfortable taking the fight the full distance.
Another argument in favor of Pacquiao vs. Mayweather becoming easier to make now is that Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank, may be less fearful of Pacquiao suffering a loss, after he already has here. Indeed, both sides may simply be more eager to make it happen before the fight loses even more of its luster.
However, there are a handful of reasons why the match is actually less likely to be made now. With Pacquiao's aura of invincibility removed, at least in the eyes of casual fans, there will be less interest in the fight, and therefore less money to be passed around. Speaking of casual fans, many will be turned off from the Pacquiao-Bradley controversy, and will be less likely to buy another big fight pay-per-view in the immediate future.
Additionally, Mayweather will likely up his demands for the revenue split from his strengthened negotiating position. A higher cut of the money from a smaller total pool would make the fight difficult to put together.
Mayweather could also take the stance that the fight no longer matters, as Pacquiao has been defeated by somebody else. Instead, he may simply seek out Bradley in an effort to beat the man who beat the man. Alternatively, Pacquiao may sour on the fight, or his boxing career as a whole. He already has one foot out the door towards his post-boxing political career, and this controversy could hasten his exit.
Ultimately, Mayweather is in the midst of his jail sentence, and the wound from Pacquiao's controversial loss to Bradley is still fresh. As fight fans have been doing for years now, when it comes to Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, we're just going to have to wait and see.
Sources: HBO PPV; ProBoxing-Fans.com round by round blog
Jake Emen runs the boxing news website ProBoxing-Fans.com. You can find more of his writing, along with interviews, rankings and breaking news stories at the site, or you can follow ProBoxing-Fans.com on Twitter, @ProBoxingFans.