Bob Arum and Todd duBoef, CEO and President of Top Rank, respectively, and Michael Koncz of MP Promotions have announced that an agreement was reached today for undefeated two-division world champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Fighter of the Decade Congressman Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions and Tecate, Pacquiao-Bradley 2 will take place, Saturday, April 12, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Both fighters and their teams will embark on a U.S. media tour the week of February 3, including press conferences in Los Angeles and New York on Tuesday, February 4 and Thursday, February 6, respectively. Ticket information and other details on the promotion and the media tour will be released shortly.
When Pacquiao and Bradley rumbled the first time, on June 9, 2012 at the MGM Grand, Bradley’s hand was raised via a controversial split decision, ending Pacquiao’s welterweight title reign as well as his seven-year, 15-bout winning streak. Though both fighters claimed victory neither was satisfied. Destiny may have played a hand in their first battle but it will be survival of the fittest that determines the winner of this exciting rematch.
Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs), the lone congressional representative from the Sarangani province in the Philippines (he was reelected to a second term, running unopposed last year), is the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many different weight divisions. A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade,” Pacquiao’s resumé features victories over future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Márquez. From 2008 to 2010, five of his seven victories were world title victories in five different weight classes, from 130 to 154 pounds. No active boxer has sold more live tickets in the U.S. than Pacquiao, who is also credited with over eight million pay-per-view buys. He returns to the ring after a scintillating beatdown of former world champion Brandon Rios.
Bradley (31-0, 12 KOs), from Palm Springs, Calif., a two-division world champion who unified the junior welterweight titles twice during his previous four-year reign, returns to the ring after three consecutive career-best victories. After moving up in weight and beating Pacquiao in 2012, Bradley co-starred in the 2013 Fight of the Year last March, winning a brutal 12-round decision over Ruslan Provodnikov though Bradley was suffering from a concussion throughout most of the fight. In his most recent fight, in October, Bradley gave a virtuoso performance in defeating three-division world champion and Mexican icon Juan Manuel Márquez proving that Bradley is indeed one of boxing’s elite pound for pound fighters.