Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley officially announced their April 12 rematch today, with Bradley defending the WBO welterweight championship that he controversially took from Pacquiao in June 2012, in a fight that most felt was a true robbery, and the worst major stage boxing decision in many year.
"I want my title back and I am prepared to endure my hardest training camp ever to win this fight against Tim Bradley," said Pacquiao, who snapped a two-fight losing streak on November 23 by routing Brandon Rios.
That fight took place in Macao, and returned disappointing pay-per-view buys in the United States for any number of reasons. Pacquiao and Top Rank immediately planned -- even before the numbers came back -- to have Manny back in Vegas for his next fight, and the MGM Grand is hosting the fight as they did in 2012.
"It is very exciting to be returning to Las Vegas. And as always, I dedicate this fight to my countrymen throughout the world and to bring glory to the Philippines."
Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KO) hasn't stopped an opponent since his November 2009 win over Miguel Cotto, which was mercy-stopped by referee Kenny Bayless, 55 seconds into the 12th and final round. Will he shoot for the KO this time? Or is Pacquiao simply past that stage of his career?
Trainer Freddie Roach isn't taking Bradley (31-0, 12 KO) lightly at all, because he's seen up close and personal the sort of determination Bradley has, and on more than one occasion.
"Tim Bradley is one of the toughest guys in the world and I saw that up close when he fought Ruslan Provodnikov last year," said Roach, the Hall of Fame trainer who worked Provodnikov's corner that night.
"Tim looked even better in beating Marquez in his last fight. Tim is the champion and Manny and I know we have our work cut out for us to successfully challenge him on April 12."