Top Rank Promotion boss Bob Arum said that Manny Pacquiao’s next fight would be outside the United States ei-ther in April or May.
The veteran promoter added that the fight between Pacman and the unbeaten unified junior welterweight cham-pion Terrence Crawford would probably happen late this year in the US.
“There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first to six months of the year definitely,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call on Tuesday. “Only if the fight will be in the United States but we’re not planning the next fight in the United States so we’re also not planning on Crawford now.”
Arum explained that he’s eyeing a competitive fight outside the US because of Pacquiao’s status as a boxer.
“I think Manny Pacquiao is more than just a boxer because he is representing the Philippines,” he said. “It’s good for him to fight in places around the world same way Muhamad Ali fought so many fights outside of the United States.”
The 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt last December 5 in Las Vegas after beating Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision.
“Now that the New Year is over I’m going to finalize a location because we’re looking out an opponent depending on the locations like in Australia, England, Middle East or maybe even in Mexico. That’s what I want to do with the last period of Manny’s career, Arum said. “I want him to be known as a worldwide fighter.”
He named WBO No. 2 welterweight Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts) of Australia as the likely first opponent of Pacquiao this year.
“Jeff Horn is a good possibility. I will be flying soon to the Philippines once I finalized every detail.”
Unified WBO and World Boxing Council (WBC) junior welterweight champion Crawford (30-0 record with 21 knock-outs) was also considered as Pacquiao’s next possible next foe after he scored a technical knockout victory over John Molina last December 10 in Nebraska.
“A possible Pacquiao fight against Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko could also happen late next year in the US if ever Lomachenko goes up to the welterweight class. He is presently weighing up at 135 pounds. He’ll be fighting in March,” Arum added.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s business manager and 1-Pacman Partylist Rep. Eric Pineda confirmed that Pacman and reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach were designated by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as Philippine Tourism Ambassadors.
“Manny is widely known in the whole world and he’s so proud to serve the nation as Tourism Ambassador. We pushed for that appointment,” Pineda told The Times in a phone interview. “Manny and Pia also have many fol-lowers. They are also part of DOT’s program.”
Asked if Pacquiao could use his position to bring his second fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to the Philippines, Pineda said, “That’s very impossible to happen. Mayweather will not be fighting outside the United States or out-side Las Vegas and I think he won’t agree with that.”