Pacquiao to face Bradley in Las Vegas

Los Angeles, December 31

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring on April 9 in Las Vegas to take on Timothy Bradley for a third time, promoter Bob Arum said on Wednesday.

Top Rank promotions chief Arum confirmed to AFP that the bout was slated for the MGM Grand. While Pacquiao has spoken this year of retiring after an April bout to pursue his political career, Arum said he would not market the bout as Pacquiao’s last.

“I’m not certain it is his last fight,” Arum said. “It may well be his last fight, it may not be his last fight. You cannot in good conscience sell it that way.” A congressman since 2010, Pacquiao announced in October that he would seek a seat in the Philippines senate in 2016. Pacquiao owns a record of 57-6-2 with 38 knockouts, hasn’t fought since a May 2 unanimous decision loss to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather in their long-awaited bout that shattered revenue records for the sport, generating some 4.5m pay-per-view purchases and $600m in gross revenue.

Pacquiao aggravated a shoulder injury in the Mayweather bout and underwent surgery. This week in a question and answer with fans on his Facebook page Pacquiao said his shoulder was “100 per cent”.

Arum, too, said the shoulder ‘seems to be 100 per cent’. “He’s playing basketball with it, scuba diving with it,” Arum said. Although not all the paperwork has been finalised, Arum said there were no obstacles to the fight taking place, with major terms such as guaranteed money and the purse split decided. “These fighters have fought for me for many years,” he said, adding that the fight would be formally announced in January.