Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will probably be his last, promoter says
Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will probably be his last, the fighter’s promoter, Bob Arum, said Tuesday after a Monday night meeting with Pacquiao in New York.
Arum said Pacquiao’s plans to seek election in May as a senator in the Philippines will result in a six-year commitment and extensive work that far exceeds his current duties as a congressman in the country.
“He can’t [mess] around and take off to go into a training camp for three months if he’s in office as a senator,” arum told the Los Angeles Times. “Senators do most of the work in the Philippines. They have to be there virtually every day. He knows if he’s a senator, he can’t fight.”
Arum said Pacquiao told him he likes his chances of winning one of 12 available senate positions, and they discussed moving toward selecting an opponent for a bout that would take place no later than April 9.
The pool of candidates includes England’s Amir Khan, old rival Juan Manuel Marquez, current World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (if he defeats Brandon Rios on Nov. 7 in Las Vegas), current WBO super-lightweight champion Terence Crawford (if he beats Dierry Jean Oct. 24) and WBC super-lightweight champion Viktor Postol.
Pacquiao would fight Crawford or Postol at 140 pounds, adding the latter to the list himself as a challenge to “beat someone who’s so big,” Arum said.
As for Floyd Mayweather Jr., who beat Pacquiao in boxing’s richest fight in history in May, then announced his retirement after beating Andre Berto on Sept. 12, Pacquiao expressed interest in fighting him again.
But the time frame probably makes such a bout impossible to make, barring a failed election bid or some other possible adjustment.
“He would like to fight Mayweather, but since this is his last fight, and looking at where we are on time, I told him he needs to forget about it and move on,” Arum said.
Before losing to Mayweather by unanimous decision in a bout short on action, Pacquiao, 36, was denied a request by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to receive a pain-relieving injection in a shoulder he injured during training camp.
He underwent surgery on the shoulder soon after and the physician who handled the operation, Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Los Angeles, is expected to review an MRI of the shoulder later this week, Arum said.
“Manny’s willing to fight anybody, but he wants the best deal,” Arum said. “We went over the fights that can make him the most money.”
Marquez, who knocked Pacquiao out in the sixth round of their December 2012 fight, “is psychologically-wise, the opponent he wants the most, but Marquez has a bad knee and we’re not sure he can get ready in time.”
Pacquiao and Marquez have fought four times, with Pacquiao winning the second and third by narrow decisions following their 2004 draw.
The most lucrative bout would probably be against Khan, who was formerly trained by Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, and has a big following in Britain.
But Khan has been quoted as expressing frustration with the wait for Pacquiao, with some media outlets quoting him as saying he was backing out because Pacquiao wouldn’t sign a contract.
Arum said there was no contract.
“Nobody can figure out why [Khan] is saying that,” Arum said. “I’ve spoken to his attorney, Robert Davis, and we’re going back and forth on the numbers,” Arum said. “The kid [Khan] talks too much. It’s probably why he lost the Mayweather fight. If there’s no contract to sign, who’s stalling who?”
Arum wants Pacquiao to wait to finalize his decision until after Bradley fights Rios. Bradley beat Pacquiao in their first bout in a highly controversial decision that led to two judges’ retirements. Pacquiao avenged that loss in the rematch by unanimous decision.
A fight with Crawford would be a match against the 2014 Boxing Writers’ Assn. of America fighter of the year, a possible passing-of-the-torch bout.
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