Top Rank boss Bob Arum has told a news source in the Philippines that Manny Pacquiao will face Timothy Bradley for a third time on April 9 in Las Vegas.
Recent speculation had put Adrien Broner in the mix as a late contender to battle the eight-weight champion, although WBN understands that the American was never in the running for the spring.
The choice for Pacquiao was eventually down to a rubber match with Bradley or a meeting with 140 pound king Terence Crawford and Arum has revealed that ‘Desert Storm’ came out as the number one pick.
Bradley defeated Pacquiao in one of the most controversial decisions in the history of the sport in 2012, although was completely out-boxed when the pair met in a rematch almost two years later.
“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,” Arum told The Manila Times.
“Bradley is happy about it of course and that’s really a competitive fight for Manny [Pacquiao]. The report about Adrian Broner fighting Pacquiao is untrue.”
It has been widely reported that Pacquiao will fight for the last time before concentrating on his political career in 2016, but Arum was quick to dispel fears that the 37 year-old would step away from the sport for good.
“It’s not going to be Manny’s last fight because anything could still happen and you know Manny. That’s why we won’t sell it that way. I don’t think it is Manny’s last fight,” added Arum.
Crawford could conceivably move on to a unification with Broner after both missed out on the fight, whilst forgotten man Amir Khan continues to be linked with a lucrative clash against compatriot Kell Brook in the summer.