By Carlos Toro-
It appears Manny Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division titleholder, will indeed return to the ring Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that Pacquiao will fight in an HBO PPV card in Las Vegas. and said the fight will happen either on October 29 or November 5.
While the exact location of the fight is yet to be confirmed, Arum did place a hold on the Mandalay Bay for an October 15 date in case Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) would come out of retirement. That is no longer possible.
Since defeating Timothy Bradley Jr. on April 9, Pacquiao won a seat in the senate in his native Philippines, where he had been serving as a congressman. Arum said that those duties rendered an October 15 return impossible.
"Manny wants to come back. The problem is he can only come back if it doesn't interfere with his senate duties," Arum said. "We had penciled him in for Oct. 15 at Mandalay Bay but we were informed that is no longer possible because he has to spend that week leading up to Oct. 15 formulating the budget in the senate and doing the votes.”
Arum also said he is working with MGM executive Richard Sturm on the availability of it's venues, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Events Center and T-Mobile Arena, for those dates.
As for who his opponent is going to be, that has yet to be determined. ESPN’s Dan Rafael said that Adrien Broner wouldn't be the opponent because Arum considered Broner's asking price too high.
Other possible opponents could be junior welterweight titlist Terence Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs). Crawford was a finalist for Pacquiao’s most recent fight that ultimately went to Bradley. Crawford does have a unification bout against Viktor Postol on July 23, so he would have to win to make the Pacquiao fight possible. A Pacquiao vs. Crawford bout would probably be at 140 lbs. and for Crawford’s title.
Another possible opponent could be Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs), whom Arum promotes. Vargas’s schedule is open now that he could not secure a fight against Kell Brook, who is now fighting Gennady Golovkin.
Fightful.com will keep you updated as the situation develops.
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