Manny Pacquiao was expected to announce the opponent for his final professional fight during a truTV broadcast Friday night, but the 36-year-old has reportedly delayed his decision.
On Monday, Top Rank Boxing’s Bob Arum told ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael a decision was expected Friday for the fight on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I was asked to tell you on Bob’s behalf that, unfortunately, Top Rank will not have an announcement on truTV as originally planned as Manny is not ready to make a decision on his opponent yet,” Top Rank spokesman Fred Sternburg said, according to Rafael.
According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Lance Pugmire, welterweight title holder and Top Rank fighter Timothy Bradley Jr. (33-1-1, 13 KOs) has been the odds-on favorite to trade blows with Pacquiao. However, Rafael indicated undefeated junior welterweight title holder Terence Crawford is also in the mix thanks to his Top Rank connections.
If Pacquiao squares off against Bradley, it will mark the third time the two have met in the ring. According to BoxRec.com, Bradley defeated Pacquiao by split decision in June 2012 before Pacquiao exacted revenge with a unanimous decision victory two years later.
The last time Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) was seen in the ring, he fell to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a largely underwhelming unanimous decision defeat. Shortly after the May fight, Pacquiao underwent surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff.
With his next fight scheduled 11 months after the Mayweather spectacle, Pacquiao should be rejuvenated and motivated to go out on top—regardless of who his next opponent is.