Boxing: Pacquiao plans to fight again this year, says Bob Arum

Manny Pacquiao has made it clear that should he return to the ring this year, he will make sure it does not interfere with his senate duties in the Philippines.
Manny Pacquiao has made it clear that should he return to the ring this year, he will make sure it does not interfere with his senate duties in the Philippines.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LOS ANGELES • Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao plans to come out of retirement to fight, his promoter said on Tuesday, though the boxer said a bout is not yet on the cards.

Bob Arum told American sports broadcaster ESPN that the former welterweight champion plans to fight on either Oct 29 or Nov 5 in Las Vegas as long as it does not clash with his senate duties in the Philippines.

No opponent was named.

"Manny wants to come back," Arum said. "The problem is he can only come back if it doesn't interfere with his senate duties."

Arum had previously planned an Oct 15 fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Centre on the Las Vegas Strip, but scrapped it due to upcoming votes in the senate in Pacquiao's native Philippines.

"The question is building availability because we want to do the fight in Las Vegas," Arum said about the new dates.

"He now has given us the go-ahead to shop for a venue and an opponent and see if we can do it on a particular date or dates.

"We've been trying to work out a date that doesn't interfere with his senatorial responsibilities and his ability to train."

But in a statement, Pacquiao, who has a record of 58-6-2 with 38 knockouts, denied any firm plans on a fight.

"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," he said.

"My next fight has not yet been discussed. Should there be any, I'll make sure it will not interfere with my senate duties."

The boxer said all his training would take place in the Philippines so that he can keep participating in senate proceedings.

He typically spends half his time training in the Philippines and the other half in the US.

"Boxing is my only means of livelihood to support my family and to help those who are in need," he said. "Politics, to me, is a vocation and 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."

Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz said that he is working with both Arum and the boxer on fight plans.

The 37-year-old Pacquiao last fought in April, when he won a unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley. The Filipino said at the time that the bout would be his last.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'Pacquiao plans to fight again this year: Arum'. Print Edition | Subscribe