Manny Pacquiao will be returning to the boxing ring on November 5th; at least that’s what his promoter is saying.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum told ESPN that the Filipino ring icon will fight again on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada against an opponent to be announced later.
— ESPN Boxing (@ESPNBoxing) July 21, 2016
Crawford As Front Runner?
That announcement is expected to be in the weeks following Saturday’s Terence Crawford-Viktor Postol Junior Welterweight title unification bout because the winner of that bout is reportedly the front-runner in the hunt for Pacman’s next foe.
When rumors of Pacquiao’s return first came out, Adrien Broner’s name was next to it. Arum later confirmed the initial talks but said Broner priced himself out of the bout. Aside from Crawford, the names of welterweight champions Jessie Vargas (WBO) and Danny Garcia (WBC) are also being linked to Pacquiao. Earlier, IBF Welterweight Keith Thurman threw his hat in the Pacman lottery by telling the Filipino fighter “Let’s give the fans a prize fight.”
Conflict With Politics
Arum said Pacquiao’s return was initially targeted for October 5 but was moved to November because of conflicts with Pacquiao’s schedule as a lawmaker in his native country.
Pacquiao was elected to a six year senatorial term in the May of 2016 Philippine National Elections. He previously said he was retiring from the sport so that he could give 100% of his time in serving his countrymen. According to Arum, the Philippine Senate will be in recess in the weeks prior to November 5th. So without a conflict of schedule, Pacquiao can return to the ring without sacrificing his duty for his country.
Pacquiao announced his retirement after beating Timothy Bradley during their 3rd bout last April 9th. However, not many were convinced that Pacquiao would be out for too long not only because of his reason to quit ( Politics) but also because he still showed impressive form in easily beating Bradley who was then considered to be in the best form of his career.
Pacman’s retirement followed the departure of rival Floyd Mayweather who also retired in September of 2015. Mayweather has also shown interest in fighting again, even to the point of a rumor pitting him against MMA star Conor McGregor in a multi-million crossover boxing match. Arum has likewise been baiting Mayweather to come out of retirement and fight a 100% healthy Pacquiao. But Money hasn’t obliged. Perhaps after a Pacquiao victory over Crawford or Postol, Mayweather will change his mind.