Pacquiao vows to end career on a high note

Manny Pacquiao (left) from the Philippines and Timothy Bradley from the US face-off.
Manny Pacquiao (left) from the Philippines and Timothy Bradley from the US face-off. PHOTO: EPA

LAS VEGAS • Manny Pacquiao on Friday promised to deliver an action-packed finale to his 21-year boxing career.

The 37-year-old Filipino boxing superstar takes on long-time rival Tim Bradley in a welterweight bout in Las Vegas at 10am today (Singapore time) in what he says will be his final fight before retiring.

Pacquiao and Bradley squared up before a raucous crowd of a few thousand fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday for the weigh-in, with both men well within the 147-pound limit.

Pacquiao tipped the scales at 145.5 pounds, half a pound heavier than his weight for his last outing 11 months ago, the money-spinning mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather.

Bradley, 33-1-1, was a pound heavier at 146.5.

Pacquiao, 57-6-2, has made no secret of his desire to crown his career with an explosive display against Bradley, who has taken him the distance twice before.

"Expect more action than the last fights we had," said Pacquiao, who plans to concentrate on a political career in the Philippines when he retires.

Bradley, who beat Pacquiao via a deeply controversial split decision in 2012 before losing the rematch, looked in formidable shape as he stripped down for the cameras.

The 32-year-old from California shrugged off catcalls from the largely pro-Pacquiao crowd, telling the audience: "I think there's going to be a lot of disappointed fans tomorrow night."

Pacquiao, who earned a staggering US$150 million (S$202 million) from his defeat by Mayweather last year, will bank another US$20 million purse from his bout with Bradley.

Although he has stated that it is his last fight, he has pointedly declined to definitively rule out a return to the ring.

"I cannot say that I'm not going to come back," the Filipino said last week, explaining that his mindset may change once he faces up to life without the sport that has made him fabulously rich and a national hero.

"I don't know how I'll feel when I hang up my gloves."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 10, 2016, with the headline 'Pacquiao vows to end career on a high note'. Print Edition | Subscribe