NEW YORK // Nearly two years after Timothy Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao in a disputed split decision, promoters announced Saturday the two will fight again on April 12.
Pacquiao’s loss to Bradley on June 9, 2012, broke a 15-fight winning streak during which he was recognized as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world along with Floyd Mayweather.
Later that year, Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Pacquiao, making many think that Pacquiao’s age and outside-the-ring activities – he’s a congressman in the Philippines, does extensive charity work and moonlights as an actor and singer – had hurt his ability to box at a high level.
In November, Pacquiao, 35, defeated Brandon Rios in a comeback fight in Macau.
Bradley, 30, defended his welterweight championship twice since beating Pacquiao: a brutal brawl with Ruslan Provodnikov and a close decision over Marquez.
Bradley abandoned his defensive style against Provodnikov and left the ring swollen and with a concussion. Bradley said he slurred his speech for two months after the fight. Against Marquez, Bradley used his boxing skills to avoid the power that had caught Pacquiao, and won another close decision.
Promoters Bob Arum and Todd duBoef of Top Rank and Michael Koncz of MP Promotions announced the fight, which will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Pacquiao is 55-5-2 with 38 knockouts. He has been lobbying for a fight with the undefeated Mayweather, but Mayweather says he will fight someone else – likely Britain’s Amir Khan or Argentina’s Marcos Maidana – in May.
Bradley, from Palm Springs, California, is 31-0 with 12 KOs.