As Manny Pacquiao continues to heal from the torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder that required surgery, talk is ramping up over when the congressman from the Philippines will return to the ring.
His promoter, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, said he thinks Pacquiao’s next fight could be in the first quarter of 2016, possibly against Amir Khan, and most likely in the United States.
Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 knockouts) last fought May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden, where he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr. by unanimous decision and where it was discovered after the fight he had been hurt before it.
“He’s doing a million things right now,” Arum said. “But I’m not going to make a fight for him until he sees (Dr. Neal) ElAttrache. ElAttrache said he won’t clear him until there’s an MRI.”
Arum said Pacquiao reportedly will have the MRI in the Philippines, with the results sent to ElAttrache, who performed the surgery.
“We’re looking at the first 3½ months of the year,” Arum said. “We played around with having Manny fight in the Mideast. But if you do a fight in the Mideast, you lose half the pay per view. And the people we were talking to couldn’t guarantee the live gate would make up for the loss on the pay per view, so it’s not going to happen there.
“We’ll look to do it in the States. But you have to be careful with the date. You don’t want to go head-to-head with the (NCAA basketball) Final Four, so maybe it’s in late February or mid-April after the tournament.”
Arum said Khan’s name is at the top of the list. Kell Brook and perhaps Terence Crawford or Lucas Matthysse also are possibilities for the fight, which would be shown on HBO Pay Per View.
“Those are all fights we can make,” Arum said. “But we’ll see how Manny’s doing health-wise and go from there.”
But don’t plan on a rematch with Mayweather.
“It’s obvious Mayweather isn’t in the picture,” Arum said. “I have no idea if Floyd’s done. I don’t know that Floyd knows if he’s done.
“Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back.”
* MAYWEATHER-BERTO NUMBERS — Mayweather’s final fight might have been a success in the ring, as he handled Andre Berto with ease Sept. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden, but the pay-per-view numbers were not up to his usual standards.
Reports have the pay-per-view buys anywhere from 400,000 to 550,000, far fewer than the average of more than 1 million buys for a Mayweather fight.
Whether it was buyer’s remorse from the Pacquiao fight, the fact Berto wasn’t taken seriously as an opponent or that fans don’t believe Mayweather is through fighting, they spoke with their wallets and did not spring for the $74.99 to purchase the bout that got Mayweather to 49-0.
Stephen Espinoza, the vice president of Showtime Sports, said the final number will be between 400,000 and 500,000 buys. He added there were many contributing factors that led to sluggish sales.
“A lot of fans buy Floyd’s fights to see him lose, and when Floyd beat Manny, a lot of that hope went out the window,” Espinoza said Saturday. “A lot of people didn’t believe Berto could give Floyd a fight, much less beat him. But overall, we were happy with the result. The entire card top to bottom was exciting.”
Mayweather’s six-fight deal with Showtime concluded with the Berto fight. Within that deal were two record-setting performances — his 2013 win over Canelo Alvarez that did $150 million in sales, followed by the Pacquiao fight, which did $440 million.
“It really was a home run for us,” Espinoza said. “We got six high-level fights, including two record fights, and we got all the ancillary benefits that come from Floyd. “All-Access” was tremendous. And Floyd raised the visibility of Showtime and of CBS. As far as we’re concerned, the door is always open to Floyd to work with Showtime and CBS.”
The Nevada Athletic Commission has yet to receive numbers for the live gate and the official attendance for Mayweather-Berto. The announced attendance was 13,395, short of the capacity of 14,500.
* MAGDALENO RETURNS — Jessie Magdaleno’s right hand has healed, and the undefeated Las Vegas featherweight is back in the gym training for an Oct. 17 fight against Filipino boxer Vergel Nebran (14-9-1, nine KOs) at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.
The fight will be the main event of Top Rank’s card that will be televised on UniMas.
Nebran lost a 10-round decision to Christian Mijares on June 19 in Mexico, but bounced back with a first-round technical knockout of Ryan Soliveres on Aug. 22 in Manila, Philippines.
Magdaleno (21-0, 15 KOs) was to face Rey Perez on Aug. 1 in Texas. But Magdaleno hurt his hand sparring nine days before the fight and pulled out.
* GUILTY CARD — Guilty Boxing returns Saturday with a card at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, with Las Vegas heavyweight and former world champion Samuel Peter (35-5, 28 KOs) in the six-round main event against Grover Young (12-16-2, eight KOs).
Six bouts are scheduled, including a fourth meeting between Las Vegas super lightweight Layla McCarter (36-13-5, eight KOs) and Melissa Hernandez (21-6-3, six KOs). McCarter has won two of their three fights.
The first bell is scheduled for 7 p.m.
* AMATEUR SHOW — North Las Vegas Center Ring Boxing will host its monthly amateur show at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Phase 1 Sports, 5137 Oquendo Road. Twenty bouts are scheduled for the card, which features boxers from Nevada and California.