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MANILA, Philippines – Will it be revenge or repeat?
Manny Pacquiao will reportedly face WBO welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a rematch of their controversial 2012 bout which Bradley won by split decision.
The Manila Bulletin reports that the fight will be announced at a press conference in Los Angeles on February 5, with a press stop in New York scheduled for the following day.
The report was verified by Rappler through a member of Pacquiao’s team.
The former eight-division world champion Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 knockouts) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios in Macau this past November, which was his first fight in close to a year after the loss to Bradley, followed by a sixth-round knockout defeat to Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao, 35, of General Santos City, Philippines is also a congressman in the Sarangani province.
The 30-year-old Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) of Palm Springs, Calif. has remained unbeaten, but has taken his share of lumps in the interim. In his first fight following the Pacquiao fight, Bradley was dropped twice by Ruslan Provodnikov before eking out a decision win. In the post-fight interview, Bradly said that he felt he had a concussion and that he couldn’t remember much of the fight.
The fight after that was Bradley’s shining performance as a professional, when he outboxed Marquez to take a split decision victory in October.
The first Pacquiao-Bradley was marred by controversy, as many felt Pacquiao dominated and carried the fight. Of 51 members of the boxing media polled after the fight, 48 opined that Pacquiao deserved the victory.
One judge scored the fight 115-113 for Pacquiao, but was overruled by the other two who turned in the same tally for Bradley. – Rappler.com
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.