Manny Pacquiao Will Fight Timothy Bradley on April 12

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2014

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Fan favorite Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) will fight WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday, April 12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

On Jan. 25, ESPN's Dan Rafael confirmed the date and matchup:


Rafael also reported on the drug testing procedure:

Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin was first to report the date.

Pacquiao previously fought Bradley on June 9, 2012, but he lost in a split decision and relinquished the WBO welterweight title that the challenger currently holds.

Many experts, including Dan Rafael of ESPN, felt that judges robbed "Pac-Man" of the victory in the first meeting. Pacquiao agreed with the overriding sentiment, via Rafael:

I did my best, but I guess my best wasn't good enough. I've been watching his fight tapes. There were no surprises. He never hurt me with his punches. Most of them hit my arms. I don't know what happened.

Building to a rematch now with the title on the line would be the correct way to answer any remaining questions about the outcome of that controversial decision.

Jun. 9, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Timothy Bradley Jr (left) against Manny Pacquiao during a welterweight championship bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The road to redemption hasn’t been easy, though.

Following the defeat to Bradley, Pac-Man lost via knockout to Juan Manuel Marquez in December of the same year. He bounced back with a big victory over Brandon Rios in November of 2013, and he is now looking to get back into the title hunt.

Despite his recent losses, Pacquiao is one of the biggest stars in boxing.

The Filipino veteran is still a strong pay-per-view draw, racking up 475,000 buys for his fight against Rios, according to HBO pay-per-view president Mark Taffet, via Bob Velin of USA Today.

Droves of boxing fans feel judges stole a victory from Pac-Man in the first fight with Bradley, meaning this rematch with the title on the line would likely exceed the number of buys from the bout against Rios.

A fight with Floyd Mayweather would be the dream match for most boxing fans, but Pacquiao getting the chance to avenge his loss to Bradley could be the final step to convincing Money that Pac-Man is a worthy challenger.