Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and American World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight titleholder Timothy “The Desert Storm” Bradley will fight for the third time on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada according to Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
“It’s a done deal and it’s going to be a third fight against Timothy Bradley. We took a lot of consideration knowing Bradley has improved a lot as a fighter since the last time they’ve met in 2014,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call on Wednesday.
Arum added that he already discussed the matter with Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz last week.
“Bradley is happy about it of course and that’s really a competitive fight for Manny [Pacquiao]. The report about Adrian Broner fighting Pacquiao is untrue,” Arum said.
Pacquiao (57-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) has earlier announced that his April 9 bout would be his last fight so he can focus on his political career but Arum still believes that the Filipino ring icon would change his mind.
“It’s not going to be Manny’s last fight because anything could still happen and you know Manny. That’s why we won’t sell it that way. I don’t think it is Manny’s last fight,” he said.
In their first bout in June 2012, Bradley scored a split decision win over Pacquiao to seize the WBO welterweight belt. But Pacquiao recaptured the title in April 2014 by beating Bradley via unanimous decision.
Bradley, 32, who holds a 33-1-1 record with 13 knockouts, scored a ninth round technical knockout against Brandon Rios last November 7 in Las Vegas. Before defeating Rios, Bradley beat Jessie Vargas also by unanimous decision in June 27 in Carson, California for the vacant WBO belt.
Bradley also hired Teddy Atlas as his new trainer.
Pacquiao, 37, lost via unanimous decision to unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0 record with 26 knockouts) in May 3, in Las Vegas. He went through surgery to repair his right rotator cuff a week after that fight.