Pacquiao-Bradley 3 is a done deal according to reports from The Manila Times. On April 9th, Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley will face off for the third time. Amir Khan, Terence Crawford, and even Adrien Broner were rumored to be possible opponents for Pacquiao's farewell fight, but Top Rank's Bob Arum finally revealed that Pacquiao's final opponent will indeed be Bradley.
Bradley earned a controversial twelve-round split decision in 2012, but Pacquiao emerged with a unanimous decision win in their 2014 rematch.
Fans don't seem overjoyed about this fight. Picking a fresh opponent would have been the best decision for Pacquiao, especially since fans seemed displeased with his lackluster performance against Floyd Mayweather. Perhaps Pacquiao-Bradley 3 was the easiest fight for Top Rank's Bob Arum to make now that Pacquiao-Crawford is off the table, but it's not the fight that fans expected or are really interested in. Arum insists that the issue was marketability.
Arum told the Las Vegas Review Journal, "A lot of writers though Terence Crawford was the hottest candidate. But they felt that Crawford wasn't as marketable, because other than people in the boxing industry, people didn't know Crawford well enough."
Most people believe the real reason the Pacquiao-Crawford fight didn't happen is because Top Rank was worried that a loss to Pacquiao could ruin Crawford. Crawford is one of the young stars Top Rank is hoping will become a PPV star. If Pacquiao beats Crawford and makes him look bad, Crawford's stock drops dramatically. If Bradley loses to Pacquiao, Bradley's stock doesn't drop nearly as much. Making Pacquiao v. Bradley 3 isn't best for fight fans, but it's what's best for Top Rank.