Manny Pacquiao has decided his “final” bout will be third match against Tim Bradley April 9 at the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought since losing a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather in May, mulled a short list of opponents in recent months that included Bradley, Terence Crawford, Amir Khan and Adrien Broner. Bradley has gone 2-0-1 since dropping a 2014 unanimous decision to Pacquiao in their rematch, posting wins over Jessie Vargas and Brandon Rios, and battling to a disputed draw with Diego Chaves.
Pacquiao and Bradley’s first encounter in June 2012 was won by Bradley in a hotly disputed unanimous decision.
Pacquiao-Bradley III will air live on HBO pay-per-view.
In the end, Bob Arum always keeps it in-house, doesn’t he? We knew Broner and Khan were longshots with their Al Haymon affiliation, but my hope was that Arum would see the benefits of a “passing of the torch” matchup with Pacquiao and his rising star Terence Crawford.
It appears Crawford lost out for a few reasons. One, he has no pay-per-view credentials. Two, Bradley and Pacquiao have history and this will be sold as the tie-breaker. Third, Bradley is coming off being the first man to stop Brandon Rios, a well-known fighter and previous Pacquiao opponent. And finally, Crawford would be a difficult assignment for Pacquiao at his age. At least with Bradley he’s facing someone he’s arguably beaten twice.
So, are you buying this pay-per-view come April 9?