Los Angeles Times
POSTED: 08:03 a.m. HST, Feb 10, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 12:45 p.m. HST, Feb 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES >> Timothy Bradley agreed in principle Thursday to fight Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, fulfilling a lifetime ambition for the unbeaten, Cathedral City-based world junior-welterweight champion.
“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 said.
Bradley declined to reveal terms of his agreement, which he said could be signed as early as Friday, but his guarantee is believed to be more than $5 million.
Pacquiao had previously agreed in principle to terms for a Bradley fight.
Bradley (28-0, 12 knockouts) kept his eyes on this prize through a contentious 2011, when he split with promoters Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson and turned down a likely $1.5-million payday last June against England’s Amir Khan to instead pursue a chance at a more lucrative date against Pacquiao.
When another round of talks failed last month to generate a super-fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (who’s scheduled to fight Miguel Cotto on May 5), Bradley emerged as the Pacquiao front-runner.
The pay-per-view bout will be at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, where Bradley, 28, last fought in 2010.
In 2008, Bradley defeated England’s Junior Witter on Witter’s home turf to capture his first belt and has since handed Lamont Peterson and Devon Alexander their first losses.
Bradley now has to solve how to defeat Pacquiao (54-3-2), who hasn’t lost since 2005 but turned in perhaps his worst performance since then by edging Juan Manuel Marquez by decision in November.
“It wasn’t so much that Marquez exposed Pacquiao, as much as he is not as spectacular,” Bradley said. “It’s harder for Pacquiao to land his shots now. Look, Marquez had Pacquiao’s number, and Marquez is 38 and past his prime. I’m younger, stronger and faster.”