LOS ANGELES: Philippine ring legend Manny Pacquiao will get a chance to avenge his controversial split decision defeat by Timothy Bradley in a rematch set for April 12 in Las Vegas.
Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotions announced the bout, in which Bradley will be defending his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt, on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Pacquiao and Bradley met for the first time on June 9, 2012 at the MGM Grand—site for April’s fight—when Bradley’s triumph ended Pacquiao’s seven-year, 15-bout winning streak.
But many thought the decision should have gone to Pacquiao, who will be keen to settle that score.
Pacquiao’s loss to Bradley was followed by another defeat, against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez later in 2012.
The two straight defeats had many speculating Pacquiao—who boasts a record of 55-5-2 with 38 knockouts and is the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many different weight divisions—would soon retire from the ring and focus on his political career.
Last year he was elected to a second term as a representative from the Sarangani province.
However, Pacquiao notched a convincing win over American Brandon Rios in Macau in November, the triumph sparking renewed speculation of a long-awaited bout with American Floyd Mayweather.
In late 2009 and early 2010, Pacquiao and Mayweather were considered the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters and record profits were expected from a showdown between them, but the mega-fight never materialized.
Bradley (31-0, 12 knockouts) is a two-division world champion who unified the junior welterweight titles twice during his previous four-year reign. The Californian will be returning to the ring after three impressive victories.
After moving up in weight to beat Pacquiao in 2012, Bradley co-starred in the 2013 Fight of the Year last March, winning a brutal 12-round decision over Ruslan Provodnikov though Bradley suffered a concussion in the fight.
In his most recent fight, in October, Bradley gave a virtuoso performance in split-decision victory over three-division world champion and Mexican icon Marquez. A