Manny Pacquiao will have a familiar face staring back at him from the opposite corner come April 9th, in what is supposed to be the Hall of Famer’s final bout.
For the third time since June 2012, Timothy Bradley(33-1-1, 13KO) will square off against Manny Pacquiao looking for the definitive win against the Filipino slugger that has evaded him.
The official announcement came Wednesday afternoon when Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, told ESPN that he has deals with both fighters and that he closed with Pacquiao on Tuesday by wiring him a $2 million advance against his $20 million guaranteed purse.
Bradley defeated Pacquiao in their first matchup by a controversial split decision June 9, 2012, by scores of 115-113, 115-113, 113-115. Pacquiao led the fight in almost all statistical categories according to Compubox and nearly all media outlets had Pacquiao winning the fight comfortably. The decision gave Pacquiao his first loss in 7 years and allowed Bradley to retain his unbeaten record although many fans still view this fight as a victory for Pacquiao.
Pacquiao-Bradley 2 would take place almost 2 years later, on April 12, 2014. Bradley pressed the action early in the fight looking to be vindicated for the first fights decision but outside of a wicked right hand in round 4 was never really able to hurt Pacquiao. The fight was much more crowd pleasing than the first affair but the outcome was never in doubt for the majority of the fight and by the end of round 12 the only question was if the judges would see the action the same as everyone else? Although the fight was viewed as being much more competitive than the first fight, Pacquiao received the Unanimous decision victory many felt he earned the first time handing Bradley his first and only professional defeat.
Bradley, who is coming off an impressive knockout victory over Brandon Rios last month, hopes the rubber match between the two rivals will not be a replay of the previous two fights now that he has Teddy Atlas in his corner. Atlas replaced Joel Diaz prior to the Rios fight and appeared to provide Bradley with a new intensity he will need if he plans to claim a victory over Pacquiao in April.
Pacquiao will be fighting for the first time since his unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. last May.