Top Rank paces bidders for Pacquiao’s next fight
MANILA, Philippines – Bob Arum won’t just let his long relationship with Manny Pacquiao go down the drain.
The venerable promoter paid Pacquiao a quick visit in General Santos City on Friday, August 10, then left the country early Saturday, hopeful of forging another megabuck fight deal with the eight-division world titlist and current World Boxing Association welterweight champion.
“It (meeting) was very cordial and informative," Arum, who took a private jet to GenSan with stepson and Top Rank president Todd duBoef, told a Filipino sportswriter before boarding his flight back to Las Vegas. “Now we know what he wants.”
Pacquiao had a falling out with Arum after his loss to Australian Jeff Horn in Melbourne on July 1, 2017 and promoted his own title fight against Argentine Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur last month.
Though he bagged the broadcasting rights of Pacquiao-Matthysse in the US, Arum maintained that he and Pacquiao are “still very friendly.”
Pushed back to the limelight by his seventh round stoppage of Matthysse, Pacquiao is getting a handful of promotional offers, including one from English promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport and DAZN.
Also ready to offer Pacquiao a lucrative fight package are Floyd Mayweather’s TMT and Oscar De La Hoya, who supported Pacquiao with the Matthysse bout by way of his Golden Boy Promotions.
Pacquiao, who intends to return to the ring on December 2, has also proven that he can do it himself like Mayweather through his MP Promotions.
Of course, the personal and exhausting effort of the 86-year-old Arum will carry weight on Pacquiao’s decision on who’ll promote his next fight.
If Arum gets Pacquiao’s nod, a blockbuster tussle against either American World Boxing Organization welterweight titlist Terence Crawford or Ukrainian World Boxing Council welterweight king Vasyl Lomachenko looms large.
Also hopeful of landing a fight with Pacquiao are Britons Amir Khan and Kell Brook and Americans Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, all former world champions.
Even the venue of Pacquiao’s next fight hangs, as a group of investors wants the Philippine senator to return to The Venetian in Macau, while a separate group pushing for Khan is eyeing the United Arab Emirates or London, England.
Of course, if Pacquiao decides to renew his ties with Arum, the glitter of Las Vegas beckons. – Rappler.com