Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring April 9 for the first time since losing to Floyd, and it will be against a familiar foe.
Promoter Bob Arum said that Pacquiao will fight Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a third time in his first bout since losing a decision to Mayweather in the richest fight ever. Pacquiao reinjured a shoulder in that fight and was ineffective against Mayweather in dropping the unanimous decision.
Technically, the fight with Bradley will be the rubber match of their three-fight series. However, most in boxing believe Pacquiao won the first fight in 2012 easily – the judges gave it to Bradley – and was largely dominant in the rematch, which he won by decision.
Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels said the pay-per-view fight has not officially been signed, but that both fighters had agreed to terms and would be signing soon. Pacquiao was given a $2m advance on his guaranteed $20m purse, Samuels said.
The fight will not be marketed as Pacquiao’s last fight, though he had talked previously about just one more fight before running for Senate in his native Philippines. Pacquiao is currently a congressman in the Philippines.
Bradley (33-1-1, 13 knockouts) is coming off an impressive win over Brandon Rios last month in Las Vegas. Bradley signed up with noted trainer Teddy Atlas before that bout, which was seen as one of his best performances.
Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 knockouts) had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder after the Mayweather fight. It wasn’t disclosed before the fight, but Pacquiao hurt the shoulder in training and then reinjured it during the fight.
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