Top Rank Promotion boss Bob Arum believes that Manny Pacquiao’s return to boxing this year could lead to a rematch against and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017
“That [Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch] is the fight that everybody wanted to see. Manny’s return this year could encourage also Mayweather to return and fight him again next year, but I don’t know, maybe yes or maybe no,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call on Friday.
The veteran promoter said that he sees the Filipino ring icon pulling off a knockout win when he fights Mayweather anew.
“Mayweather is not available this year. He is retired but I’m sure if ever Mayweather fights Manny again, he’ll be knocked out,” added the veteran promoter. “Pacquiao’s last fight against [Timothy] Bradley was very impressive. If he fights Mayweather that way, Manny will surely knock him out.”
Arum is currently working on Pacquiao’s comeback fight on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The winner of the unification match between American Terence Crawford and Russian Viktor Postol on July 23 in Las Vegas would likely be Pacquiao’s next foe.
Crawford (28-0 win-loss record with 20 knockouts) is the World Boxing Organization world super lightweight champion while Postol (28-0 with 12 knockouts) is the World Boxing Council world super lightweight champ.
Another possible opponent for Pacquiao is WBO welterweight Jessie Vargas.
Pacquiao’s close friend and fellow pug Gerry Peñalosa said that the eight-division world champion is eager to have a rematch with Mayweather (49-0 win-loss record with 26 knockouts).
Pacquiao lost via unanimous decision to Mayweather in May 2015 in Las Vegas.
“We talked about it a few days ago and he said that he really wanted to come back, and he really like a Mayweather rematch,” Peñalosa said.
“If not Mayweather, Manny also like to fight the undefeated Danny Garcia. Garcia is a made-to-order fighter for Manny,” he added.
Garcia is the World Boxing Council world welterweight champion unbeaten in 32 fights with 18 knockouts.
“I cannot blame him [Pacquiao] if he returns to boxing and fight this year because it is in his blood. Manny is a fighter and he missed it,” said Peñalosa.
“What I have known so far is that Manny is really thirsty for a Mayweather rematch,” he concluded.
JOSEF T. RAMOS