Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao has made the decision to fight WBO welterweight title-holder Timothy Bradley Jr. for the third time on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The details of the bout, which would be the main event of an HBO PPV card, have already been sent to both fighters.
Manny Pacquiao will fight Timothy Bradley Jr. for the third time on April 9th. https://t.co/NZxXz7SMiy
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 30, 2015
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said on Wednesday that they have already secured a deal with Pacquiao on Tuesday, giving him in advance $2 million of the total $20 million he would get for the bout.
Arum added that Michael Koncz, Pacman’s adviser, has already cleared the details with the People’s Champ, and the advance payment is enough to “seal the deal.”
If everything falls into place, Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), will fight Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) for the third time.
While the 32-year-old Bradley from California is a fierce competitor and boxer, he did not give the Filipino boxer a memorable or competitive fight in their last two outings.
Back in 2012, Tim Bradley won the WBO welterweight title from Pacquiao via split-decision in perhaps one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history. It was apparent during the entire match that Pacquiao landed with more punches and was the clear aggressor, yet two of the judges gave the victory to Bradley.
Timothy Bradley Defeated Manny Pacquiao in a Controversial Split Decision in 2012
In order to clear the controversy, a special five-judge panel was created by the WBO to review the fight. All of them scored the fight in favor of Manny Pacquiao, although the decision could no longer be overturned.
The two boxers faced off again in 2014, and the fight was closer than expected. Still, Pacman emerged as the winner on points, and he regained his welterweight belt via unanimous decision, handing Timothy Bradley the only loss of his career so far.
Manny Pacquiao Reclaims the Belt Against Timothy Bradley in 2014 Rematch
After the two underwhelming matches between Pacquiao and Bradley, some fans have expressed their disappointment and are not looking forward to a third bout.
Even Arum is trying to prove to boxing fans that Bradley is now an improved fighter.
“People should not buy this fight because they believe it’s Manny’s last fight,” Arum said. “They should buy it if they believe with Bradley’s improvement this is a really competitive fight.”
According to reports, Bradley’s new trainer, Teddy Atlas, has done wonders for the American boxer, who knocked out Brandon Rios in November to successfully defend his title.
Arum claims that the Timothy Bradley that Manny Pacquiao will face in April is an all-new fighter.
“At this point of his career, can Manny handle that? Remember, Manny is also coming off an injury,” Arum added.
The Filipino fighter, who is also a congressman in the Philippines, is coming off of a shoulder injury, which he claimed to have limited him during the historic fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. – a bout that garnered 4.6 million pay-per-view subscriptions, and earned more than $600 million in revenue.
— Gulf News Sport (@GulfNewsSport) September 30, 2015
However, Pacman did not reveal the shoulder injury until after the bout, angering thousands of fans who paid for tickets and viewing subscriptions.
When Manny Pacquiao lost to Mayweather Jr. earlier this year, Floyd obtained the welterweight belt, but was stripped of it when he failed to pay a $200,000 sanctioning fee, and for not relinquishing his titles in the junior middleweight division.
— The42.ie (@The42_ie) July 7, 2015
On the other hand, Timothy Bradley won the interim WBO welterweight title in June against Jessie Vargas. Because the WBO welterweight belt was vacant at that time, his interim title was promoted to a “full WBO welterweight” champion.
This means that Manny Pacquiao will try to regain the WBO welterweight title from Timothy Bradley for a second time.
[Image by Jeff Gross, Getty Images]