Boxing: Manny Pacquiao to fight Timothy Bradley in April - reports

Manny Pacquiao (left) will take on Timothy Bradley (right) for a third time on April 9.
Manny Pacquiao (left) will take on Timothy Bradley (right) for a third time on April 9.PHOTOS: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring on April 9 in Las Vegas to take on Timothy Bradley for a third time, promoter Bob Arum told US media on Wednesday.

While Pacquiao has spoken this year of retiring after an April bout to pursue his political career, Arum told the Los Angeles Times and ESPN that he would not market the bout as Pacquiao's last.

"It may very well be his last fight, but I won't put myself in the position of selling it as his last fight and then he decides he wants to fight again and I look like a schmuck," Arum told ESPN.

A congressman since 2010, Pacquiao announced in October that he would seek a seat in the Philippines senate in 2016.

The 37-year-old, who owns a record of 57-6-2 with 38 knockouts, has not fought since a May 2 unanimous decision loss to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather in their long-awaited bout that shattered revenue records for the sport.

Pacquiao aggravated a shoulder injury in the Mayweather bout and underwent surgery five days later.

This week in a question and answer with fans on his Facebook page Pacquiao said his shoulder was "100 per cent".

Pacquiao and Bradley have met twice before, with the American taking a controversial split decision in a fight many thought Pacquiao had won in June of 2012.

Pacquiao avenged the polarising defeat and regained the World Boxing Organisation welterweight world title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Bradley in April of 2014.

Bradley, 33-1-1 with 13 knockouts, has since regained the WBO welterweight belt and will be coming off a ninth-round technical knockout of Brandon Rios on Nov 7.