Manny Paquiao has made his decision to fight welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr. for the third time on April 9. The fight will take place at MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the main event of an HBO PPV card, according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and ESPN.
Though the paperwork is still in the works, Arum told ESPN that he has deals with both Paquiao and Bradley. He added that he closed with Pacquiao Tuesday by wiring him a $2 million advance out of his $20 million guaranteed pay.
The fight is supposed to be the final one of the Pacquiao’s incredible career; he will likely be elected to a six-year term in the Philippines Senate in May. However, Arum said that the fight will not be promoted as so.
“I am not going to position this as his last fight,” Arum stated. “It may very well be his last fight, but I won’t put myself in the position of selling it as his last fight an then he decide he wants to fight again and I look like a schmuck. I’m not sure it is his last fight, despite what he told me.”
This will be Pacquiao’s first fight in 11 months, since he lost to Floyd Mayweather in their welterweight title unification fight on May 2. Pacquiao fought despite his shoulder injury and had to have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff following the fight. The fight racked up 4.6 million pay-per-view subscriptions and generated in excess of $600 million, according to ESPN.
Pacquiao and Bradley have split their welterweight title fights thus far. Bradley claimed a split-decision win in June 2012, one of boxing’s most controversial decisions ever. And in April 2014, Pacquiao dominated and won in a unanimous decision.
Here’s how the two fighters size up against one another, courtesy of Bleacher Report and BoxRec.com:
Timothy Bradley Manny Pacquiao
|Record||33-1-1, 13 KO||57-6-2, 38 KO|
|Weight||146 (last fight)||145 (last fight)|
|Hometown||Cathedral City, California||General Santos City, Philippines|
|Last Fight||TKO Brandon Rios (11/7/15)||L UD Floyd Mayweather (5/2/15|
* Pacquiao will be 37 on fight night