HOLLYWOOD – Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum is convinced Manny Pacquiao isn't retiring anytime soon, so much so that he already has immediate plans for the Filipino bomber after his fight against Tim Bradley next Saturday.
The 84-year-old Arum disclosed he’s looking to pit Pacquiao against current Mexican boxing idol Canelo Alvarez in a blockbuster showdown if and when the Pacman gets past Bradley in their April 9 welterweight bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“For me the biggest fight out there is against Canelo. He’s Hispanic and people would love to see that fight,” Arum told reporters as he waits for Pacquiao to arrive at the Wild Card gym on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) for his traditional media workout.
Arum made it clear he’s not looking past the 32-year-old Bradley, but stressed he’s just doing his job of finding fights for his stable of boxers under Top Rank.
Both Pacquiao and Bradley are under contract with Top Rank.
“Manny says he’s gonna retire. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. It’s my job to see who he fights next if he’s gonna return,” said Arum, who recently celebrated his golden year as a boxing promoter.
The man who promoted such ring greats like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio Cesar Chavez, among others, said he already mentioned the matter to trainer Freddie Roach, who quickly agreed with his choice.
If ever, Arum said he’s looking to stage the fight in September in conjunction with the Mexican independence day.
For a Canelo fight to become possible, Pacquiao needs to go up in weight and fight as a middleweight.
But Arum doesn’t see any problem with that, pointing out that Pacquiao had no problem fighting as a light-middleweight against Antonio Margarito for the World Boxing Council (WBC) 154-lbs. crown.
“Manny always fought bigger guys,” he reasons out.
The promotional outfit of both fighters could also pose a problem as Canelo is under Golden Boy Promotions, the No. 1 rival of Top Rank.
Arum though doesn’t want to go into details on how he’ll go about it with both Pacquiao and Canelo facing important fights in the coming weeks. The Mexican is set to defend his title against Amir Khan at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 7.
“I don’t want to talk about conversations because Manny has a tough fight against Bradley, and Canelo doesn’t have a walk in the park against Amir Khan,” he said.