Pacquiao vs Bradley 3: WBO to Give Winner Special LoveHot
When arguably the world's two best welterweights clash on April 9, a major world title will not be at stake.
After Floyd Mayweather captured the WBO title by defeating Manny Pacquiao last year, it was made vacant when the former retired.
Tim Bradley (33-1-1-13 KO) would win the interim title by defeating Jessie Vargas and become the organization's full-fledged champion soon after.
When the WBO ordered Tim to defend the title against mandatory challenger Sadam Ali, Bradley opted for the higher-money bout with fight legend Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2-KO38), agreeing to surrender his title in the process.
As a result, Pacquiao vs Bradley 3 won't be contested for a world title. However, the WBO has promised to give the winner added significance.
In reply to Bradley's decision, WBO president Paco Valcarcel stated: "You [Tim] have been an outstanding, honourable and loyal WBO junior-welterweight and welterweight champion of the world and the doors of the WBO will always be open for you," as reported by Sky Boxing.
"Finally, I am pleased to inform you that we are preparing a special recognition for the Pacquiao vs Bradley 3 winner - two remarkable fighters and worthy ambassadors to the WBO. Wishing you all the best."
What is "special recognition?"
In truth, this fight should be for the WBO title. Manny is the consensus top active welterweight, has owned the WBO title for the better part of the last five years and the fighter who took his belt is no longer active.
Hence, If heavyweight champion Tyson Fury retired today, Wladimir Klitschko, the previous, long-reigning occupier, would or should face the No. 1 or 2 contender in an elimination bout for the titles Fury vacated.
In Manny's case, perhaps the WBO was unsure about when or if he'd return (following his surgery last year), and proceeded with looking to crown a new champion?