It was announced earlier today that Manny Pacquiao has decided he’ll face Timothy Bradley for a third go-round on April 9th at the MGM in Las Vegas in what is being billed as his last fight. Bradley won their first encounter by some unusual scoring while Pacquiao captured a win in their later rematch.
Three boxers were considered in the running to land Pacman as their opponent; Timothy Bradley; Terence Crawford; & Amir Khan.
Terence Crawford had emerged as the preferred opponent by the boxing media and hardcore fans alike as he became a two division champion last year when he moved up to light welterweight and advanced his undefeated record. HBO was worried that Crawford wouldn’t be as marketable as the other two candidates because he usually fights in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Top Rank would’ve also have liked Crawford to have gotten the fight against Pac as Crawford is their rising star and Pac is expected to retire after the fight in his bid to run for a Senate seat in the Philippines.
For Bradley, this comes as a huge victory. He’s got a new cornerman in Teddy Atlas and is coming off an impressive KO victory against bruiser Brandon Rios last month.
There are still some questions as to whether or not Bradley’s WBO belt will be at stake. He won the vacant belt last summer after the WBO stripped Floyd Mayweather of their title for failing to pay sanctioning fees. Bradley for his part has refused to fight his mandatory Sadam Ali.
Ali may get a shot at fighting for the title against rumored opponent Jessie Vargas, who Bradley beat for the title- though with some controversy. With the 12th round about to end in the fight, Vargas landed flurry of punches that stunned Bradley. The ref called for a stop of the fight mistaking the sound of the ten second warning for the bell. Vargas has unsuccessfully been lobbying for a rematch ever since.