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Sports

Pacquiao-Bradley 3 set for April 9

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum says Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley are set to face each other in a rubber match on April 9 (April 10 Manila time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael said he has spoken to Arum, who confirmed that the fight is a done deal.

Pacquiao and Bradley fought twice, with the American escaping with a controversial decision in 2012 and the Filipino icon getting payback with a victory two years later.

Bradley is the current WBO welterweight champion, interestingly a title that used to belong to Pacquiao before he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in boxing’s richest match ever last May.

Prior to the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, Bradley was the WBO interim welterweight champion after outpointing Jessie Vargas. But after Mayweather defeated Pacquiao to unify the WBC, WBA and WBO welterweight titles, the former relinquished the WBO diadem, prompting the organization to promote Bradley to full champion status.

Pacquiao, for his part, previously stated that it will be his final fight, after which he plans to concentrate on his political career. The Sarangani congressman is eyeing a Senate seat under the opposition party of presidential aspirant and incumbent Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Arum, however, isn’t ruling out a comeback by Pacquiao, who said that he has recovered from a shoulder injury he sustained in the weeks leading to the Mayweather showdown.

Veteran scribe Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times tweeted that Arum has mentioned Pacquiao returning to fight again in November next year, possibly against rising star Terence Crawford.

On the upcoming third fight between Pacquiao and Bradley, Arum said it will be a different bout this time.

“We haven’t seen this fight already, because this is a new Bradley,” Arum told Pugmire.

“I don’t know that Manny has to prove anything other than he’s better than the current Bradley and his new coach. The Bradley who beat [Brandon] Rios was better than the Bradley I’ve seen of the last five years. Can that Bradley beat Manny Pacquiao? I don’t know, but I think it’s a close fight and he’s still coming off an injury.”

ACIRC

ARUM

BOB ARUM

BRADLEY

BRADLEY I

DAN RAFAEL

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.

JESSIE VARGAS

PACQUIAO

PACQUIAO AND BRADLEY

QUOT

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