Manny Pacquiao is poised to fight Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas after the unbeaten American agreed in principle to a deal, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.
Reports earlier this week said Philippine icon Pacquiao had agreed to put his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt on the line against Bradley, but that terms had not been finalized.
“This is about being the No. 1 fighter in the world, and that’s what my goal has been for as long as I can remember,” Bradley told the Times.
He did not reveal the terms of the agreement, but said it could be signed as early as yesterday.
Bradley was one of several fighters in the mix as a possible Pacquiao opponent after it became clear that the anticipated, but elusive fight between “PacMan” and Floyd Mayweather Jr would not come off in June.
Mayweather is scheduled to fight Miguel Cotto on May 5 instead.
Bradley boasts a record of 28-0 with 12 knockouts. Pacquiao, 54-3-2, has not lost since 2005 and is considered the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
However, Pacquiao was less than dominant as he struggled to a majority points decision over Juan Manuel Marquez in November.
KHAN VS PETERSON
Amir Khan is to face Lamont Peterson in a rematch in Las Vegas in May, the British boxer announced via Twitter yesterday.
American Peterson deprived Khan of his World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-welterweight titles as a result of a controversial split points decision in Washington on Dec. 10.
That led the WBA to order a rematch last month and the second Khan-Peterson bout will now take places at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Hotel on May 19.
“Big announcement. KHAN. Vs PETERSON May 19th, Mandalay Bay Hotel Vegas. At last I git [get] the fight I deserve, Big,” Khan said on his Twitter account.
There was confusion at the end of the pair’s first meeting in Washington, Peterson’s home town, with an unusually long delay between the climax of the bout and the announcement of the judges’ scorecards.
Referee Joe Cooper had previously deducted points from the 25-year-old Khan in the seventh and 12th rounds for pushing — an offense rarely punished at championship level — and did not credit Khan with what should have been a first-round knockdown, the WBA said.
Further controversy ensued when Khan’s camp highlighted video footage of a “mystery man in a black hat,” later identified as Mustafa Ameen, an IBF official who had no formal role at the bout, which they claimed showed him interfering with the judges’ cards.
That led Ameen to threaten legal action against Khan.
Meanwhile, Richard Scheafer, chief executive of Khan’s promoters Golden Boy, said on Thursday he would seek assurances over ringside security.
“We have a deal, we are all set,” Schaefer told Sky Sports. “This is going to be a big, and I mean a very big fight. The first fight was a terrific fight, an all-action fight, a lot of controversy, a lot of questions surrounding it, so this one here is hopefully going to clear up all these question marks.”
“[Security] will be very tight and Las Vegas is probably the best commission in the world and I know they are going to make sure that everything is going to be totally above board,” he added. “I’ve already had conversations with the Las Vegas commission to make sure that it is going to be absolutely neutral ground for both fighters. We won’t see any men in hats sitting at the scorers’ table.”