Manny Pacquiao’s promoter has reserved Oct. 15 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for what could be the fighter’s comeback bout from a short-lived retirement.
However, promoter Bob Arum attached a sizable asterisk to his reservation Wednesday, telling The Times he hasn’t yet confirmed with Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 knockouts) whether his work as a new senator in the Philippines will prohibit him from fighting again.
“We have the date… just to protect ourselves,” Arum said.
Former eight-division world champion Pacquiao, 37, is scheduled to begin his Senate session Friday in Manila, and Arum said he’s planning a visit to the island nation after the Fourth of July to discuss with the fighter how the political assignments will affect his fighting future.
“He doesn’t know. He has to see what committees he has, what kind of hearings he has,” Arum said.
Pacquiao returned from his record-setting May 2015 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on April 9, defeating Timothy Bradley Jr. by unanimous decision, but then announced after the bout he was retiring to a life of public service. He won election in May.
The front-runner for a possible Pacquiao fight appears to be unbeaten World Boxing Organization junior-welterweight champion Terence Crawford should he defeat fellow champion Viktor Postol July 23 in an HBO pay-per-view, title-unification bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“It’d be a good fight, and even if Manny would lose and wanted to keep fighting, he’d still be an attraction,” Arum said.
Arum said he’s also “been talking to [manager Al] Haymon,” about a possible Pacquiao bout against Adrien Broner (32-2, 24 KOs), the World Boxing Assn. “world” junior-welterweight champion who’s won belts in three other divisions, too.
Unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman could also emerge as a candidate. But the date is deemed to be too soon for a rematch with the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr., Arum said.
“Definitely not Mayweather. We’ve been told he’s not ready to fight yet,” Arum said. “Otherwise, of course, we’d consider that.”