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Pacquiao could fight as late as June 2017, says Arum

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
Pacquiao could fight as late as June 2017, says Arum

Manny Pacquiao with his promoter Bob Arum and trainer Freddie Roach in this file photo.

MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum said Manny Pacquiao’s ring return could stretch to June next year.

Speaking recently to boxingscene.com’s Keith Idec, Arum also said that Pacquiao plans to fight two times in 2017, like he's done in the past few years.

“Manny's next fight could be as late as June. He's gonna fight twice a year, so if he fights in June and fights in November, that's OK. And I wanna get away from the cards that are on pay-per-view that shouldn't be on pay-per-view,” said the veteran promoter.

Pacquiao typically holds his first fight of the year in April – or March at the earliest and May the latest. But as an incumbent Philippine senator, he promised to make sure his fights will not coincide with Senate sessions.

No opponent has yet been named, but undefeated WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford is in the mix for Pacquiao.

The 29-year-old Crawford boosted his case after he stopped John Molina Jr. over the weekend to retain his titles. He afterwards called Pacquiao out, but said he isn’t desperate for a showdown with the Filipino icon.

But there’s one fight that Arum and Pacquiao will prioritize if ever it becomes a clear option – a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The retired Mayweather, however, has kept mum about returning to boxing. But the undefeated American stirred talks about another clash with Pacquiao when he showed up at ringside at the latter’s fight with Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas last month.

Arum, for his part, isn’t pinning too much hope on Mayweather returning

“I'm not holding my breath. But obviously, if Floyd decides to come back and wants to fight Manny, that's the fight we would work on. But there's no indication that that's the case,” the Top Rank boss added.

Arum also said in the same report that he will fly to the Philippines in January next year to sit down with Pacquiao and finalize things.

For now, it is still waiting time for Pacquiao and his fans.

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