‘Terror sleeper cells in Metro may prompt redeployment of troops’
() - May 20, 2007 - 12:00am

Manny Pacquiao is now planning to return to the ring sooner than expected.

The 28-year-old boxer, who ran for a congressional seat in the May 14 elections, yesterday said he might schedule his next fight in September and not October as he and his promoter Bob Arum announced recently.

“He said he now wants to fight in September,” a close Pacquiao ally said yesterday, adding that the country’s biggest sports hero is now raring to shift his focus back to his boxing career.

Pacquiao ran against incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino Custodio in the first district of Gen. Santos City, but has not been doing well in the counting as he continued to trail her charming opponent.

Charges and allegations of cheating preceded the elections, and Pacquiao has tapped the services of more than a dozen lawyers just to see to it that the votes of his supporters were not violated.

Pacquiao is expected to be in Manila today. The reason for the visit, however, was not disclosed.

“Pacquiao has left all matters concerning politics to his lawyers. And for the meantime, he can concentrate on planning his next fight on the ring,” added the Pacquiao ally.

Days before the elections, Pacquiao said he plans to fight in October, adding that he would need three months to recover his strength after going through all the rigors of campaigning.

Arum has even scheduled a date for the fight – Oct. 6 and has asked the boxer to decide soon whom he’d like to face next. It’s a choice among Joan Guzman, Edwin Valero, Marco Antonio Barrera or Humberto Soto.

Arum, of Top Rank, said Juan Manuel Marquez is not on the list because the reigning WBC super-featherweight champion, a Golden Boy fighter, is “demanding a lot of money” to face Pacquiao.

The WBC, however, has declared Pacquiao as the mandatory challenger to Marquez, and has given the camps of both fighters until June 18 to agree to a fight, which, many believe, might not take place this year.

BOB ARUM DARLENE ANTONINO CUSTODIO EDWIN VALERO GOLDEN BOY HUMBERTO SOTO JOAN GUZMAN JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ PACQUIAO
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