By Jake Donovan
The two-city press tour touting the rematch between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao kicked off Tuesday in Los Angeles and will conclude Thursday in New York City. Wedged in between the two opportunities for media outlets to cover the events, fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the April 12 card, which takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Tickets are set to go on sale Wednesday, February 5 at 1:00PM ET/10:00AM PT. Seats for the event are priced at $1000, $800, $600, $400, $250 and $150, with a ticket limit of 10 tickets per person for all price points except for $150, which carries a limit of two tickets (2) per person per purchase.
Overall, ticket prices are considerably cheaper than was the case for their first fight in June 2012, with tickets ranging from $200 to $1200. Bradley won the bout by controversial split decision, with the majority of fans and media watching the event believing Pacquiao deserving to win by anywhere from two to 10 points over the course of the 12-round affair.
Bradley (31-0, 12KO) was confident of victory well before the opening bell, already promoting a rematch during Fight Week in which he insisted a sequel was in store for November of that year.
Instead the unbeaten Californian sat out for the remainder of 2012, but enjoyed a tremendous 2013 campaign, which included a thrilling win over Ruslan Provodnikov in a fight hailed by BoxingScene.com as the Fight of the Year. His year concluded with a close but clear decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez last October.
The aftermath for Pacquiao wasn’t quite as steady. Six months following the disputed loss to Bradley, he suffered a brutal one-punch 6th round knockout at the hands of Marquez in their epic fourth encounter in 2012.
The wildly popular Filipino – a former champion in eight overall weight classes, include lineal championships at flyweight, featherweight, super featherweight and super lightweight – sat out for nearly a year before enjoying a triumphant return with a 12-round near-shutout of Brandon Rios last November in Macau.
Buzz has already begun for the rematch, which gained greater relevance as time went on. Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum was hesitant to ponder a return go in the immediate aftermath of the first fight between the welterweights, and the strategy proved sound. Whereas most had Pacquiao as the winner and a surefire bet to win a rematch back then, that dynamic has dramatically changed.
“You’re going to see a tremendous fight between two great champions, and I’m confident we will sell out the MGM Grand,” Arum says of the forthcoming event, which will air live on HBO PPV.
Pacquiao has enjoyed several memorable moments at the MGM Grand, though also the worst two of his recent years, with the aforementioned losses to Bradley and Marquez both taking place at the venue.
Overall, Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38KO) has played the MGM Grand 10 times, with a career mark of 6-3-1 (4KO) in the Vegas landmark, including three of his four bouts with Marquez, his breakout win over Lehlo Ledwaba back in 2001 and perhaps the three most significant wins of his career, scoring stoppages over Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in succession, within a span of 11 months.
Bradley has fought just three times at MGM Grand, all coming after signing with Top Rank in 2011. The undefeated welterweight recently extended his contract with the Vegas-based promotional powerhouse.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox