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Pacquiao defends Bradley, set on retirement

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The “Fighting Pride of the Philippines” is dead set on moving on to Philippine politics after his bout against Timothy Bradley on April 9 (April 10 in the Philippines).

Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38KO) is coming off a loss, in the richest bout in the history of fight sports, last May against Floyd Mayweather. After a hiatus from boxing, Pacquiao and Top Rank Promotions decided that WBO Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley (33-1-1, 13KO) was the perfect opponent to face boxing’s only eight-division world champion in his swan song.

The decision was met with widespread criticism as the majority of fight fans believe that Pacquiao decisively won the first two bouts and a third bout was unnecessary. However, Pacquiao has deemed that a bout with Bradley made the most sense both financially and historically. “So contrary to what some sectors believe, the choice of Bradley was not based solely on a business standpoint,” Pacquiao told BoxingScene.com. “There were many factors our team, headed by promoter Bob Arum, considered.”

“Many, indeed, seemed dissatisfied with the choice, but what I can assure everybody is we made that decision having the interest of the boxing public in mind.”Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Pacquiao defends Bradley, set on retirement News

Pacquiao, who had been fighting professionally since 1995, recently celebrated his 37th birthday and is coming off a shoulder surgery told the same publication that he feels as healthy as ever going into his “final” bout in saying, “I’m still young and I feel strong. We will train hard for this fight so we can handle whatever our opponent may bring to the table.”

However, the Representative of Sarangani province and sports-entrepreneur is firm in saying that this will be his final bout. “I never said that, nobody spoke to me about that. After my fight on April 9th, I’m going to retire from boxing,” Pacquiao told the outlet. “My April 9 fight against Timothy Bradley will be my last. I’m retiring from boxing to focus on my new job.”

Top Rank President Bob Arum is not buying this however as he would only believe it once it happens.

“I don’t want to say that . I’m not going to sell it as that because I don’t want everybody to say, ‘Hey, it’s his last fight, come and see it!’ and then it turns out that it’s not his last fight. Who the hell knows with these guys? They all change their minds so I’m not selling it as his last fight. He says it’s his last fight but who the hell knows?,” Arum said.

Pacquiao-Bradley III is set to take place on April 9, 2016 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

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