Manny Pacquiao will fight again according to his promoter, Bob Arum. While the Filipino fighter has a ton of demands on his time now that he’s a senator in his native country, he is said to be eyeing a return to the ring despite claims he would retire after his last bout.
Pacquiao dominated Timothy Bradley for the third time in April (Pacquiao lost their first fight thanks to a ludicrous split decision), cruising to a 116-110 decision on all three judges’ scorecards. He seemed poised to walk away from the sport for good after promises to his family, and with a stellar 58-6-2 record and 38 knockouts, his legacy was secure. But Arum says his top draw will be back, and soon:
“He now has given us the go-ahead to shop for a venue and an opponent and see if we can do it on a particular date or dates. We’ve been trying to work out a date that doesn’t interfere with his senatorial responsibilities and his ability to train.”
Arum also claimed Pacquiao would need to open any training camp with a few weeks in the Philippines in order to keep up with his political obligations. He would eventually need to take a leave of absence for three weeks to finish training in the United States and then for the fight in Las Vegas.
Arum had October 15 on hold at the Mandalay Bay just in case Pacquiao wound up returning, but he says that date is now off the table. He also denied that Adrien Broner was the likely opponent his fighter.
Pacquiao is still the lineal welterweight champion, and at this point only a few fights make sense for him. The first would be a rematch with the now-retired Floyd Mayweather. Barring that potential pay-per-view draws would be a bout with someone like Terence Crawford (provided he beats Viktor Postol in two weeks), Keith Thurman, a rematch with Miguel Cotto or potentially a fight with Canelo Alvarez at a catchweight. Those are the only relatively big-name guys in Pacquiao’s weight range.
Whoever the opponent is, Pac-man will almost certainly want a challenge. He doesn’t seem like the type to come out of retirement to face someone far below his standing.
A matchup with Mayweather where Pacquiao is actually healthy would be the kind of thing fans would appreciate, but it’s unclear if Mayweather has any interest in a return engagement.