AFTER a quick clarification from the Commission on Elections, Manny Pacquiao's excuse for setting back his scheduled return to the ring by a month no longer holds.
Just hours after Pacquiao's adviser Michael Konz cited the boxer's need to leave training camp to personally file his certificate of candidacy (CoC) as the reason for postponing his next fight to December 1, the Comelec clarified that there was no need for Pacquiao to personally file the document.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez cited a clear provision in the election laws allowing an authorized representative to file the CoC of an election candidate during the filing period from october 1 to 5. The authority, according to Jimenez, should be in writing and under oath, and to be attached to the CoC.
In a report by ESPN, Konz said Pacquiao has to be in the Philippines to file his candidacy, which in a way, will disrupt his training at the Wild Card gym should his fight be in November.
Pacquiao regularly trains at least eight weeks for every fight.
“If he fights on November 10, it would interrupt his training because he would have to go back to the Philippines. You lose two days going there, and it's a long trip in the middle of camp. We don't want to have any excuses when he fights," Konz said.
“I believe if he fought on November 10 but made a trip at that time to the Philippines, we'd lose a week of physical training. So we can't go on November 10, and we have told that to our promoter (Top Rank)."
In light of the Comelec explanation and the continued hesitation on Pacquiao’s part to name his next opponent, suspicions have heightened ofpossible backdoor negotiations now taking place among representatives of both the Filipino southpaw and unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
So far, the 33-year-old Pacquiao, who is also a congressman from the lone district of Sarangani, has yet to pick from among the short list of possible opponents Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has offered him, namely Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Miguel Cotto.
Initially, Arum had expected a choice to have already been made by the time he personally talked with Pacquiao during his visit to the country first week of August.
But as the month comes to an end, nothing is clear yet as to whom Pacquiao will face next, giving credence to rumors that the eight-time world champion wants to fight no one but Mayweather in his ring return.
Mayweather has just been released from a two-month jail term owing to domestic violence, and remained mum about when he will return to the ring. But he appeared to have softened his stand against Pacquiao, whom he called a `great fighter’ after previously accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Arum believes a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is very possible by 2013, but definitely not as early as December 1st. Konz agrees.
“As you know, we're willing and able to fight Floyd anytime he wants, but I don't believe he is ready. Floyd just got out of (county jail). He's spending time with his family. He's enjoying his freedom,” said Konz in the same ESPN report.
“I don't see Floyd going into the ring until next year, but who knows? I have no confirmation of his schedule. I'm just glad he's out of jail. I wish him all the luck in the world and so does Manny, but I don't see Floyd fighting before us this year."