Boxing - Pacquiao and Bradley announce April rematch

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley have announced an April rematch to their controversial 2012 WBO welterweight title bout.

The two fighters will meet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas after Bradley agreed terms with Pacquiao's Top Rank promotions team.

American Bradley won a split decision when the fighters met at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June 2012, a decision that prompted disbelief from the sporting world and had many calling the outcome corrupt.

After that fight the WBO met with five international judges to evaluate video of the match and they unanimously scored the fight in favour of Pacquiao. They did not have the power to overturn the initial verdict, however, and the result stood.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission did have the power to formally overturn the decision, but refused to launch an internal inquiry into the result.

Judge Jerry Roth (115-113) awarded the fight to Pacquiao while CJ Ross (115-113) and Duane Ford (115-113) gave it to the American, who had been a 5-1 underdog.

"I've never been as ashamed to be associated with the sport of boxing as I am tonight," promoter Arum said at the time.

"This is a fight that respected people scored 11-1, 10-2 to Pacquiao. They said that Bradley was trying hard but that this was a mis-match."

Following the fight Pacquiao's reputation took a further hit when he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his fourth meeting with his Mexican rival, although he did bounce back last November with victory over Brandon Rios in what was a unanimous decision.

For his part Bradley remains the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion, with his last victory coming against Marquez in another contentious split decision.

"Manny felt he won that (first) fight and he wants the loss off of his record, so to speak," said Top Rank president Todd duBoef.

"Tim felt he won and wants to prove that this time, so we made the rematch.

"Because of the way that Tim fought against Provodnikov and Marquez, the last impression the consumers have of him is as a star and that's going to ease people's vision of their first fight as a less-than-pleasant result."