TOP Rank Promotions’ Bob Arum disclosed Manny Pacquiao’s farewell fight needs to happen in the first quarter of 2016 as the Filipino boxing icon will be busy campaigning as Senator in next year’s national polls.
Arum hooked up with the 36-year-old Pacquiao in New York last week where the boxing superstar told him about fighting not later than April 9 or just about a month before the elections.
“Manny said to me at a dinner in New York last week, ‘Bob, I’m going to be a senator. I can’t fight any longer as a senator because I can’t be absent and this fight has to take place no later than April 9, and it will be my last fight,” Arum said in an interview with Mike Coppinger of USA Today.
Pacquiao went to the Big Apple last week as one of the recipients of the 2015 Asian Game Changer of the Year Award.
The veteran boxing executive said he’s looking at Terence Crawford, Amir Khan, and Timothy Bradley as possible Pacquiao opponent.
Crawford is scheduled to face Dierry Jean this weekend for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light welterweight crown, while Bradley, who beat Pacquiao in their welterweight title match in 2012, takes on Brandon Rios next month.
Khan was considered the frontrunner as Pacquiao’s main foe in his ring comeback next year, but reportedly backed out after negotiations for the match went on a standstill.
Arum, however, said he is still communicating with Khan’s attorney Robert Davis and uncle Taz to resume talks about making the bout happen.
At the same time, the Top Rank boss reiterated his belief about Pacquiao’s plan of seeking a seat in the Senate has something to do with his dream of running for the presidency in the future.
Arum stressed Pacquiao ‘really wants’ to be president of the Philippines someday, although in order to do that, the eight-time world division champion needs to end his boxing career at the soonest.
“I’m happy because one thing that’s extraordinarily important given his life plans, is he really wants to be president of the Philippines and he really wants to serve the people in the Philippines.
“And he’s gotta be able to do it without any kind of impairment to his brain function and the more you stay in boxing, the more you risk that,” said Arum.