Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring for a possible swan song next April to take on American Timothy Bradley for a third time, the Filipino’s promoter told Reuters on Wednesday.
Pacquiao, 37, and Bradley, 32, will meet on April 9 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, the venue for their two previous encounters.
Bradley controversially beat Pacquiao when they first met in 2012 but the Filipino gained revenge in their 2014 re-match, scoring a unanimous decision win to regain the WBO welterweight title.
Next April’s bout will be Pacquiao’s first since he lost a unanimous decision to unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the so-called “Fight of the Century” in Las Vegas seven months ago.
Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion, was hampered by a torn rotator cuff against Mayweather before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder just four days later.
Pacquiao had been expected to retire, with little left to prove after achieving his long-stated goal of getting in the ring with Mayweather, but then said in October that he would return for one more fight in 2016.
According to Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum, the Filipino could well have additional bouts in his sights before he finally decides to call time on his career.
“I don’t want to say that (it’s his last fight),” Arum told Reuters via telephone.