Manny Pacquiao

Surprise, surprise: Manny Pacquiao seems to be coming out of retirement, planning on a fight in late fall or early Winter. It’s not going to be Floyd Mayweather, apparently, who is also, at the moment, retired.

Pacquiao was supposed to hang up his gloves following his second, and more convincing win over Timothy Bradley, winning the WBO International and lineal welterweight titles on April 9. Pacquiao announced his retirement after the fight and won a seat in the Senate of his native country, the Philippines. How is he going to combine his duties of being in the Senate and preparing for a fight? I’m pretty sure they’ll work something out to let him off the hook of his very busy schedule.

According to Bob Arum, they wanted to book a date for a fight at Mandalay Bay on October 15, but Senate duties prevent Pacquiao from preparing for the fight in the week before. Budget stuff, you know. The question now is availability in Las Vegas on October 29 or November 5. Since 2008, Pacquiao has fought out of the MGM Grand in Vegas, except for two fights in Macau and twice in Dallas. He fought in Mandalay Bay against David Diaz on June 2008.

Assuming the availabilities are made, who is Pacquiao going to fight, that’s the more interesting question. The name of Adrien Broner has been brought up, but the person managing Broner, Al Haymon, is Arum’s biggest rival, and Arum has suggested the money demands from Broner are unrealistic. With Arum being a Top Rank promoter, the two more likely names are Terence Crawford and Jessie Vargas.

Crawford is a Junior Welterweight champion who is 28-0 with 20 KOs in his career, and has a fight against Viktor Postol on July 23 in their unification bout. If he wins that one, he might be the favorite to land a fight against Pacquiao. Another candidate is Vargas, a Welterweight champion, going 27-1 in his career with 10 KOs. He was supposed to fight Kell Brook, but the undefeated British fighter is taking a huge risk and will fight Gennady Golovkin.

Pacquiao is 58–6–2 in his 66 fights. He has lost three of his last seven: A farcical decision against Bradley in their first fight, a knockout loss against Juan Manuel Marquez, their fourth fight, and by decision against Floyd Mayweather Jr., their first fight, the biggest in the history of boxing in terms of money being made off of it. He beat Bradley twice since his loss to Marquez, and also won against Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri.

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