Though it doesn’t come much of a surprise, Manny Pacquiao will officially fight Timothy Bradley Jr. on April 9, 2016 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
Top Rank promoter confirmed it as well via Philippine publication The Manila Times.
“It’s a done deal and it’s going to be a third fight against Timothy Bradley. We took a lot of consideration knowing Bradley has improved a lot as a fighter since the last time they’ve met in 2014,” says Arum during an overseas call.
The announcement of Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Jr. 3 comes after Arum himself quashed all rumors pitting Adrien Broner to the list of possible opponents, which left “Desert Storm” as the only logical match.
Broner had earlier claimed that Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz contacted him for a possible fight. While Koncz confirmed the claim, Arum denies the match via boxingscene.com.
The recent announcement drew mixed reactions, some of which were not totally for the fight.
Lyle Fitzsimmons from the Bleacher Report found it senseless, calling it a tactic similar to what Floyd Mayweather Jr. pulled as an easy route to retirement.
Bradley’s former trainer Joel Diaz had his say and believes that Pacquiao chose Bradley because he was the safest option.
"The reason why Pacquiao is choosing him is because (Bradley) can't hurt him," said Diaz to The Desert Sun. "If Pacquiao chooses Bradley, he will knock him out this time. People don't want to see that fight again."
Even Shane Mosley was not shy to express his dismay on the choice of Pacquiao to face Bradley via Twitter.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated also weighed in, saying not too many will be looking forward to the match and that Pacquiao shunned perhaps taking on a new and tougher opponent in Terence Crawford.
Along with the announcement comes an interesting side note. Per the LA Times, Arum and Pacquiao have agreed not to market the third meeting as the Filipino boxer’s last fight.
With that said, it seems Pacquiao is still holding out some hope that he can get a rematch with retired and undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The only thing interesting from the said fight for some is the verbal battle between the two trainers – Freddie Roach and Teddy Atlas. Roach had already fired the first shot at Atlas via boxingscene.com.
"Nothing [would be different in a third fight]. We'll hear some good stories [from Atlas], that's all. He's a good storyteller,” says Roach via boxingscene.com.