Advertisement
Share

Manny Pacquiao tells promoter Bob Arum he’s willing to un-retire for a fall bout

Manny Pacquiao, left, and Timothy Bradley trade punches in the middle of the MGM Grand Garden Arena ring during their WBO welterweight title fight on April 9.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

Manny Pacquiao has said he’s prepared to un-retire and fight again in the fall, just in time to increase interest in one of his promoter’s pay-per-view fights.

Pacquiao, 37, was elected to the Philippines Senate in May, less than three weeks after defeating Timothy Bradley and declaring he would stop fighting in order to fulfill a life of public service.

Yet, when his promoter, Bob Arum, secured a date for him to fight Oct. 15, Pacquiao began seeking to determine if he could keep it.

“He conferred with the president of the Philippines Senate, who gave him permission to fight, but the 15th was turned down because the senate needs to do the budget, so now we need to get the date that coincides with the schedule, Oct. 29, or Nov. 5,” Arum said.

Advertisement

The favorite to fight former eight-division champion Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 knockouts) is the winner of Arum’s July 23 bout between unbeaten junior-welterweight world champions Terence Crawford of the U.S. and Viktor Postol of Russia at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao will fight as a welterweight, according to Carl Moretti, an executive in Arum’s company, Top Rank.

Arum said unbeaten World Boxing Council champion Danny Garcia and World Boxing Organization champion Jesse Vargas are also in the running, with four-division champion Adrien Broner an outsider.

“Broner had very big demands that economically I can’t meet,” Arum said. “He didn’t do anything wrong, other than asking for a number that’s out of the question.”

The challenge now, Arum said, is finding a site for what should be an HBO pay-per-view bout. Arum said MGM Grand President Richard Sturm has reported there are some conflicts with his properties — T-Mobile Arena, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay.

At 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena, Kanye West is booked for Oct. 29 and the Professional Bull Riders tour is there Nov. 5, but nothing else has been announced at the other two venues.

“I’ve got to get a building,” Arum said, adding that Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas could also be used if necessary.

Arum said he was advised to pursue one of those dates during a conversation with Pacquiao’s manager Michael Koncz, who said Pacquiao was enthused by the idea of returning to the ring.

Advertisement

Arum couldn’t deny that the timing is superb to inspire a story line for his Crawford-Postol bout, which is on HBO pay-per-view only because the network restricted spending on boxing this year.

A Crawford victory could mark a passing of the torch, with the fighter from Omaha having shown elite boxing skill. But if Pacquiao wins, it would again renew talk of a rematch with unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., who might be tempted to come out of retirement to close his career with a 50-0 record.

“I could see that happening next year,” Moretti said.


Advertisement