By Steve Kim
On April 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao will face Tim Bradley for the third time. Going into this promotion, veteran promoter Bob Arum has said he will not be marketing this as Pacquiao's final fight for fear that 'the Pac Man' may fight on past this date.
But according to Pacquiao's adviser, Mike Koncz,"As it stands at this moment, I can honestly say this is Manny Pacquiao's last fight."
There is plenty of criticism over this match-up, given that there wasn't much public demand for it and the fact that they have already fought twice. Koncz explained to BoxingScene.com:
"We looked at what was the best financial package for Manny and I was dealing directly with Amir Khan. I kept him posted as much as I could. I even let him know what we had to pay Bradley to fight in the hopes that he may become more realistic in his purse.
"And I was even contemplating Adrien Broner but we had to look at everything in a package deal and fortunately - or unfortunately - the best package financially I could get for Manny was a rematch with Bradley."
Bradley beat Pacquiao in a highly controversial decision in 2012 before Pacquiao even the score in a 2014 rematch. The Filipino icon may still face backlash for his rather tepid outing against Floyd Mayweather last year and for the selection of this opponent. But Koncz counters by asking,"Are we gonna get more criticism for Floyd facing Berto on his last fight? I don't think so."
Regardless, Pacquiao-Bradley III will be a tough sell.
But Koncz states,"It's not our fault, we were running out of options on opponents. That's the bottom line. So we can only do the best that we can do and it's not Manny's fault, it's not my fault that possible opponents like Amir - and I give him credit that he realized that there are other people in play and he came down on his demands, which I appreciate and that I'm thankful for - but unfortunately it wasn't enough for us.
"Again, my job is to do the best I can do for Manny and unfortunately whether the fans like it or not, that's in the financial aspect and that's what I did."
When asked if Pacquiao will be fully focused for this upcoming bout, Koncz answered,"I have no reason not to believe that."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com