Arum still doubts Pacquiao’s retirement, prepares Crawford as potential foe

MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum remains doubtful that Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will hang up the gloves for good after his third meeting against Timothy Bradley Jr. on April 10 (April 9 in US).

Pacquiao, who was re-elected as congressman of the lone district of Sarangani Province in 2013, plans to pursue a full-time career in politics as he seeks to secure a senate seat in the upcoming elections.

Arum is not fully convinced that Pacquiao will call it quits with boxing regardless of the outcome of his third ring encounter versus Bradley, which takes place at the 16,800-seater MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"If he wants to keep fighting, of course I'll promote it, but that decision is up to him," Arum stated in an interview with BoxingScene.com.

The 84-year-old promoter is taking Pacquiao’s retirement plans with a “grain of salt” and refuses to advertise the rubber match with Bradley as the Pinoy pugilist’s farewell fight.

If Pacquiao decides to break his promise to retire, Arum would like to pit him against WBO super lightweight champion Terrence Crawford in November of this year.

Crawford was one of 3 candidates who made the shortlist and were considered to face Pacquiao along with Bradley and Amir Khan.

“If Manny beat Bradley and decides that he wants to keep fighting, then Crawford is the perfect opponent," Arum said about the match-up.

The 28-year-old boxer from Omaha, Nebraska is currently booked to square off with Henry Lundy on February 27 in New York City.

"If he beats Lundy, we'll do one more with Crawford in June or July and then I want to a big fight for Crawford, a big pay-per-view fight. We'll look at what's available,” Arum shared.

Aside from Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach is also skeptical about his valued pupil’s vow to retire and believes the renowned southpaw from General Santos City will continue fighting. – Rappler.com