Future Hall of Fame boxer Manny Pacquiao will come out of retirement to fight again, likely in late October or early November, according to his promoter Bob Arum, who said Tuesday night that Pacquiao is ready to put the gloves on again.
It will be a pay-per-view fight, Arum told USA TODAY Sports Tuesday night. He said he is scrambling to find a venue, and hopefully it will be the MGM Grand or one of the MGM Grand properties, which includes the Mandalay Bay Events Center or the new T-Mobile Arena.
“Right now we’re scrambling around trying to get a location for the fight,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to do it. Everybody’s helping and if we get a location, Manny has permission to go ahead with the fight.”
The story was first reported in the U.S. by ESPN.com.
On Tuesday night on his Twitter account, Pacquiao released this statement, denying not that a fight is in the works, but that preparation for the fight would require him to take a leave of absence from the Senate:
Office of Hon. Emmanuel D. Pacquiao
Senate of the Philippines
There is no truth to media reports that I’m planning to take a leave from my senate duties just to fight again atop the ring.
I want to make it clear – my priority is my legislative works.
My next fight has not yet been discussed. should there be any, I’ll make sure it will not interfere with my senate duties.
when I ran for senator last May 9 elections, I made a promise to be present in all sessions.
I owe it to the people.
If ever I decide to fight again, rest assured, it will happen when congress is on recess so there’s no need for me to go on leave.
The entire training will be done in the philippines to ensure I can attend sessions even while on training camp.
Boxing is my only means of livelihood to support my family and to help those who are in need.
Politics, to me, is a vocation, not a means to eke out a living.
I want to maintain that belief. I want to keep my dignity intact while in public service.
May God continue to guide and bless all our endeavors.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs)) announced his retirement after his April 9 victory against Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand. At the time, he was running for the Senate in the Philippines, and said he wanted to concentrate on his Senate duties if he was elected and wanted to see what it was like to be retired.
Apparently he found it not completely to his liking. A month later, Pacquiao, 37, a two-term congressman, was elected to the Senate.
“Manny has always wanted to continue fighting if he could clear it with his duties in the Senate,” Arum said. “And he has been told he cannot fight on October 15th. But he was cleared to fight either on the 29th of October or the 5th of November.
“We’re trying to clear a building in Las Vegas. They’re working hard on that in the MGM and we’ll see what we’ll see.”
Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s advisor, reached by phone, told USA TODAY Sports that the retired fighter does want to fight again and is “working hand in hand with the Senate president to make sure it doesn’t interfere with his duties and obligations. First and foremost, he’s committed to fulfilling his senatorial obligations.
“But he misses the sport, he misses entertaining people and he misses the people that are associated with boxing that we deal with when we fight.
“I just spoke to him the other day. I’ve been with Manny a long time, and I don’t say anything that I’m not authorized to say. But he does want to come back and we will come back.”
Koncz said it will likely be early November, not late October for the comeback fight. Pacquiao said in his statement he would train the entire time in the Philippines, but Arum said he expects the last two weeks of training camp to be held in the United States.
If the fight happens, Arum, the Hall of Fame chairman of Top Rank Promotions, said Pacquiao’s opponent will not be Adrien Broner, who has been rumored to be the guy. Apparently his asking price is too high.
“First, we have to get the building, then it will be either Danny Garcia, or the winner of (Terence) Crawford-(Viktor) Postol (July 23rd fight at the MGM Grand), or Jessie Vargas.”
“Hopefully it’s going to happen,” Arum said. “Do I know for sure? No.”
By Bob Velin