Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum will be arriving on August 9 to discuss Manny Pacquiao’s comeback fight scheduled on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nedava in US.
“I will fly over to Manila and meet Manny [Pacquiao] to discuss to him the details of his return bout,” Arum told The Manila Times on Sunday via an overseas call. “I have already booked my flight to Manila. I’m looking forward to that meeting.”Arum reiterated that Pacquiao’s next opponent could be either World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1 win-loss record with 10 knockouts) or unified junior welterweight WBO and World Boxing Council champion Terence Crawford (29-0 record with 20 knockouts).
“So far, they are still the candidates [Crawford and Vargas) to fight Manny,” added Arum. “It’s going to be an absolute blockbuster fight either of the two. Everybody is excited to see Manny return. His last fight against Timothy Bradley was great.”
Arum also claimed that Pacquiao has already agreed to fight again in one condition – his legislative duties in the senate should not be affected by his boxing return.
Pacquiao, who defeated Timothy Bradley in April via unanimous decision, remained mum on the issue. He won a senatorial seat in the May national election.
“Nothing is definite yet at the moment,” the 37-year-old Pacquiao (58-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) told The Manila Times during Mahindra’s 105-103 win over San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Basketball Association on Wednesday.
“My priority is my job in the senate,” added Pacquiao. “Let’s see.”
According to his camp, Pacquiao is not afraid to face anybody including Crawford and Vargas. Crawford just defeated Russian Viktor Postol last week in their unification match.
Meanwhile, Vargas thinks he has the inside track when it comes to enticing the Filipino superstar back into the ring.
“I am the WBO welterweight champion and he wants to return to fight for this belt. So I am happy to give him a title shot,” Vargas told AFP during the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame function.
“The fight is still under negotiation and I can say that soon we will announce it, although I do not want to advance because in boxing everything can change every minute,” Vargas said.
Vargas won the vacant WBO welterweight title with a ninth round TKO of Sadam Ali in March.
“Manny has never faced someone like me. I’m at my best, I have several advantages. I’m taller and faster than him. I’m really smart fighter too,” Vargas said.
“I not only want to face him but I want to beat him. Juan Manuel Marquez did it and I want to beat him too, mainly because at his best he was someone who gave many headaches to Mexico fighters,” he said.
Arum tweeted on Friday (Saturday in Manila) that he is also talking to a group that wants to stage Pacquiao’s next fight in the Middle East.
“Meeting on Sunday with people anxious to put on a @MannyPacquiao TR fight in the Middle East,” Arum wrote.