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Manny Pacquiao to fight Timothy Bradley on April 12th in rematch

Manny Pacquiao Timothy Bradley Pacquiao vs. Bradley II Pacquiao-Bradley IIBy Chris Williams: It’s reported that Top Rank will be matching Manny Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO’s) against WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (31-0, 12 KO’s) in a rematch on April 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bradley-Pacquiao rematch will be announced next week, and a press tour will start on February 4th, starting in Los Angeles followed by New York on February 5th, according to Tempo.

Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz has the completed contract information for Pacquiao and Bradley. Top Rank has got to hope that the Pacquiao-Bradley II fight will bring in better PPV numbers than Pacquiao’s last fight against Top Rank stable fighter Brandon Rios last November, which brought in just 475,000.

I have a feeling that we’ll likely see similar numbers because few people are interested in seeing Pacquiao fighting Bradley over and over again like he did with Juan Manuel Marquez. It wouldn’t be bad if it were on regular HBO, but to ask fans to pay to watch Pacquiao fight Bradley again is likely not going to work.

There really never was any choice in who Pacquiao’s next opponent would be; let’s be honest. With Pacquiao pretty much stuck fighting Bob Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters, it was either fight Bradley again or face WBO light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov, who is under contract with Top Rank for one fight after getting a title shot against Bradley last year almost beating him. Given how little known and dangerous Provodnikov is, Arum went with the safer choice of putting Pacquiao in with Bradley.

Pacquiao-Bradley II isn’t a great fight other than for fans who want to see if Pacquiao can avenge his loss to Bradley from June 2012. It wasn’t really a loss, because Pacquiao beat Bradley and him on the run for 12 boring rounds, but the three judges working the fight gave Bradley the victory by a 12 round split decision. It was very controversial with next to nobody agreeing with it, and because of that we’re now seeing Pacquiao-Bradley II. But in all honesty, we’d still likely be seeing a rematch between them anyway, because Arum doesn’t have a lot of options for opponents for Pacquiao in his Top Rank stable.

Once he badly beats one of Arum’s stable fighters like he did against former lightweight Brandon Rios last November, it becomes pretty much impossible for Arum to match Pacquiao back up with them. But if the fight is anywhere close or controversial, then Arum can keep matching Pacquiao up with this fighter. And you can bet that if the Pacquiao-Bradley II fight is close or controversial, we’ll be seeing a third fight between them, even if it doesn’t bring in good pay-per-view numbers.

There’s not much else in Arum’s stable for Pacquiao to fight other than re-tread opponents and the smaller fighters like lightweight Terence Crawford and super featherweight Mikey Garcia. If Pacquiao re-signs with Top Rank at the end of 2014, then it’s likely we’ll see Pacquiao face the likes of Mikey and Crawford in the near future, if only because there just isn’t any other guys for him to be matched up against in Arum’s stable.

Bradley beat Juan Manuel Marquez by a 12 round split decision last October in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a very boring fight to watch unless you liked watching Bradley run around the ring for 12 rounds, playing hit and run. The style worked against the smaller and much older 40-year-old Marquez. However, Bradley struggled in a huge way to beat Provodnikov last year in March, and barely won the fight after being staggered three times and knocked down. Bradley tried to actually fight Provodnikov in a toe-to-toe fashion, and what we discovered was that Bradley didn’t have the power or the chin to fight in that manner. And in the Marquez fight, Bradley went back to his normal running style of being cautious and it very boring to watch, but par for the course for his fights.

Arum backed Pacquiao away from quality competition in his last fight by matching him against pumped up lightweight Brandon Rios, and Pacquiao was finally able to end his 2-fight losing streak. It’s sad that Arum had to match him against Rios to get Pacquiao to stop losing, but it’s also a sign that Arum might have been worried about Pacquiao getting knocked out again. He was stopped in the 6th round by Marquez in December 2012.

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