Manny Pacquiao has decided to keep fighting for two more years and will continue to be promoted by Top Rank.
Pacquiao, the 35-year-old congressman from the Philippines, and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum announced Tuesday an extension of their partnership, which will run through Dec. 31, 2016. Pacquiao’s deal with Top Rank was to expire at the end of this year.
“We’ve been with Manny since 2005, and it’s great to see the relationship continue through the conclusion of his great career,” Arum said. “There was never any doubt that as long as Manny wanted to keep fighting that he would maintain his relationship with us. But once you put everything you agreed to verbally on paper and the lawyers go through it item by item, it takes a little time.”
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 28 knockouts) regained his World Boxing Organization welterweight title April 12 with a 12-round unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden. It was a rematch from their controversial first fight in June 2012, when Bradley won a split decision in a bout many observers thought Pacquiao clearly won.
Pacquiao’s next fight could be against Juan Manuel Marquez, which would be the fifth between the two. Pacquiao is 2-1-1 in those meetings, but Marquez won their most recent fight, knocking out Pacquiao in dramatic fashion in the sixth round Dec. 8, 2012, at the Grand Garden.
Marquez set the stage for the fifth fight with a unanimous decision over Mike Alvarado on Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
“We’re talking to Macau about it,” said Arum, referring to the Venetian Macau Resort, where Pacquiao defeated Brandon Rios in November. “But Marquez isn’t the only possible opponent for Manny. There’s (Ruslan) Providnikov. There’s some good welterweights that Golden Boy has, and if Oscar (De La Hoya) gets control back and he has Amir Khan and Danny Garcia, we’d do business with Golden Boy.”
As for fighting the best welterweight — Floyd Mayweather Jr. — Arum said he doesn’t have a problem per se with Mayweather, who has said he plans to return to the ring Sept. 13 against an opponent to be determined.
“I want to make that fight as much as anyone,” Arum said of Pacquiao-Mayweather. “But the two people who negotiate for Floyd — (Richard) Schaefer and (Al) Haymon — don’t want to do business with me.”
And with Arum maintaining his relationship with Pacquiao, it’s highly unlikely that fight will happen.
“In the boxing business, you never say never,” Arum said. “Right now, we’re moving forward with plans for Manny’s next fight.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.