Manny Pacquiao has spent 18 years as a professional fighter and tallied 61 bouts. At the age of 34 and with a myriad of interests outside the ring, speculation has been swirling whether or not Pacquiao would continue fighting after his devastating knockout by the right fist of Juan Manuel Marquez in December. Pacquiao put retirement talk to bed this week in an interviewwith the Manila Standard Today, one of the largest newspapers in thePhilippines. He told the paper that he would return to the sport in September.
Top Rank promoter] Bob Arum and myself have been talking and will continue talking. What is definite is they’ll see me fight again come September. Not April nor immediately after that as speculations are going. Tell the public that it won’t be long before I make them happy again when I fight.”
via Pacquiao still busy fighting other battles out of the ring – Manila Standard
Left unanswered are the two biggest questions: who will be his opponent and where will the fight take place? “Everybody knows I’ll fight anyone. I am not scared of anybody. And that is the reason why boxing fans like me so much. I never avoid anyone. I don’t choose easy fights. I will fight anybody, anytime, anywhere,” Pacquiao told the paper.
The most obvious match-up is a fifth bout with Marquez. There was some fan fatigue with the fourth fight, but it still generated 1.15 million pay-per-view buys (100,000 less than their third fight) and $70 million from TV, plus another $11 million at the gate. It was Pacquiao’s sixth 1 million PPV fight, which ties Mike Tyson for the most in boxing history.
Asked about another battle with Marquez, Pacquiao says:
“If he doesn’t want to fight me then I don’t want to fight him either. So be it. It’s that simple. He says he doesn’t want to fight me because he won our last fight? Well, I am still ahead in the tally of our last four fights. I won two, lost one and dres one,”
via Pacquiao still busy fighting other battles out of the ring – Manila Standard Today.
If Pacquiao and Marquez cannot agree on terms for another fight, Pacquiao most likely will turn to Timothy Bradley, who won a controversial decisionagainst Pacquiao in June, 2012 that most ringside observers felt Pacquiao won handily. Bradley defeated Ruslan Provodnikov this month to run his record to 30-0.
Pairing fighters is always a challenge with the egos involved in the sport and it became trickier last week when HBO announced it would no longer buy fightsfrom Golden Boy Promotions, which is boxing’s largest promoter. Like Pacquiao, Bradley and Marquez are both in the Top Rank stable of fighters, which makes both match-ups doable.
The venue question remains unanswered, as well. Pacquiao’s last dozen fights include 10 in Las Vegas and a pair at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex. But Arum has been pushing for Pacquiao’s next fight to take place in gamblingmecca Macau. Arum argues that the lower income taxes for Pacquiao would offset a potentially smaller purse.
For now, Pacquiao says he is busy with the political campaign of his wife Jinkee, who is running for vice governor of Sarangani. He is also involved in the campaign of his brother, Rogelio, who is running for office. Manny is running for reelection unopposed for the lone Congressional seat of Sarangani Province. Election day is May 13 in the Philippines. It promises to be a big day in the Pacquiao household.