Arum Talks Pacquiao’s 2017 Plans

No boxing legend has a more complicated schedule that Manny Pacquiao. The eight-division world champion is not even a full-time boxer, as his main job is as a senator in the Philippines, where he is one of the most distinguished heroes to the community. Despite his governmental responsibilities, Pacquiao had a successful 2016 and plans to compete next year as well.

Pacquiao (59-6-2) won the rubber match of a trilogy with Timothy Bradley in April, and then returned from a brief retirement to defeat Jessie Vargas in November. In that bout he captured the WBO welterweight title he had held multiple times in the past.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank boss Bob Arum told Boxing Scene that even he is unsure of when Manny will return to the ring, but he has a general idea.

“The truth is it would be sometimes before the end of June,” Arum said. “Now exactly when that will be, I can’t rely on anybody except going over there and meeting with the President of the senate and determine what the schedule is for the senate. His first job is as a senator and I can’t influence when they have recesses.”

The most remarkable part of Pacquiao’s continued success in boxing is that his training schedule has been fit into the small periods of time off that he has between senate responsibilities.

Arum plans to meet with Pacquiao in the near future, and then he will have an idea who the Filipino legend will share the ring with next.

“I know they have recesses scheduled but once I get the schedule of the senate going forward then I’ll sit with Manny, we’ll plan the date and we’ll get an opponent.

“That’s up to Manny so I punt that to Manny. Manny will tell me and we have a number of opponents we’re considering, a number of ways to go, a number of venues we’re talking about and nothing is going to be finalized until I got o the Philippines and do my due diligence.”

Pacquiao has been linked to potential matchups with top-10 pound-for-pound fighter Terence Crawford, or with the winner of the welterweight title unification fight between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. Either matchup would provide an opportunity for Pacquiao to add another elite name to his resume before retiring.

Despite the uncertainty of his schedule, Arum does not expect Pacquiao to be gone after his next bout.

“I think he’ll fight at least twice more next year. After next year, I have absolutely no idea.”

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