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Arum: Pacquiao-Bradley III a ‘Done Deal’

Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines, drives Timothy Bradley into the ropes in their WBO welterweight title boxing bout Saturday in Las Vegas. Pacquiao won by unanimous decision. Isaac Brekken/AP
Photo Courtesy of AP

The long wait for the reveal of Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent may finally be over. According to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s next bout will be against a familiar foe.

“It’s a done deal and it’s going to be a third fight against Timothy Bradley,” Arum said to The Manila Times Wednesday. “We took a lot of consideration knowing Bradley has improved a lot as a fighter since the last time they’ve met in 2014.”

Pacquiao had reportedly been considering Bradley, Terence Crawford or Amir Khan for his April 9 contest.

Months back it seemed Khan would be the one to win the Pacquiao sweepstakes, going as far as to say it was “75 percent” likely to happen. Arum, who doesn’t represent Khan, was not eager to see that fight take place.

While Pacquiao said the April match would be the last of his 20-year career to make room for a budding political career, Arum isn’t quite convinced this will be the last time we see the Filipino superstar lace up his gloves.

“It’s not going to be Manny’s last fight because anything could still happen and you know Manny,” Arum said. “That’s why we won’t sell it that way. I don’t think it is Manny’s last fight.”

Pacquiao was last seen fighting Floyd Mayweather in May 2015, dropping a 12-round unanimous decision to the undefeated boxer in Las Vegas. At least five years in the making, Mayweather-Pacquiao went on to become the most lucrative boxing match in the sport’s history, eclipsing 4.4 million pay-per-view buys.

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