Manny Pacquiao has signed a two year contract extension with Top Rank that will virtually keep him under the wings of Bob Arum’s promotional company until the last day of his glorious boxing career.

Arum’s Plans

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum was pleased to announce that Top Rank “will continue presenting to the public fights of the great Manny Pacquiao through the end of 2016.” Arum told Yahoo sports that Pacquiao’s contract will continue “as usual”. This means that Pacman will continue to fight twice each year: one in the spring and one in the fall. As for the immediate plans, Arum is contemplating a November fight in Macau against the WBO’s mandatory challenger Juan Manuel Marquez. If that happens, it will be the fifth fight between the Mexican legend and the Filipino icon. Pacquiao owns a record of 2-1-1 against his rival, but Marquez won the last fight via a sensational knockout.

If Marquez does not want to fight, Arum said they will go after former Pacquiao sparring mate Ruslan Provodnikov. He is the WBO 140 lbs champion who is also under Top Rank and is trained by Freddie Roach. While a Marquez bout could spell a PPV hit, a fight with Provodnikov would be a war for the ages.

The Mega Bout

Arum sounded like a broken record when asked about the never-ending question of a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown. He said that “we want to fight him (Mayweather) and we’re willing to discuss it at any point.” Arum pointed out that should the fight happen within 2015, a scenario similar to the Lewis vs. Tyson fight of 2002 could happen where HBO and Showtime came together to put up the fight. Arum also suggested that if Mayweather wants it in 2016, he can go back to HBO and “do it there”.

Arum even gave it a surprisingly optimistic “90-10 chance of happening”. Of course with Arum, one doesn’t know what’s true and what’s promoting. There are too many obstacles along the way. The greatest of which is his feud with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Bad Blood

Top Rank signed Floyd Mayweather Jr. right after he won the bronze medal in the 1996 summer Olympics. He last fought under Top Rank on April 2006 when he defeated Zab Judah to win the IBF and IBO Welterweight titles. Mayweather and Arum’s relationship soured because Floyd resented the way Arum marketed him. Floyd Mayweather exercised a buyout option in his contract, freed himself from Arum and made the sole decision on who to fight.

At that time, Mayweather rejected an $8M offer to fight Antonio Margarito, and instead waited for Oscar De La Hoya to beat Ricardo Mayorga to forge the biggest fight boxing has ever seen. The De La Hoya vs. Mayweather bout set a record of 2.5M PPV buys and $136M in gate revenues. Mayweather then became the new icon of the sport and its highest paid star.

This week, Arum admitted to Yahoo Sports that Mayweather “absolutely made the right move to go on his own” and that Mayweather “would have been more successful had Top Rank paid closer heed to Mayweather’s ideas”. Arum added that he “certainly doesn’t hate Floyd” and he has “no hard feelings”.

But Mayweather has vowed that he will never do business with Arum ever again. Those words have been cast in stone. People close to Mayweather swear that Floyd doesn’t want Arum “to make money off him”. Mayweather even challenged Pacquiao in the past to dump Arum to make the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight possible. But then the inevitable opposite has happened when Pacman extended his Top Rank contract.

Signing a Death Certificate

Yahoo’ Kevin Iole said that Pacquiao virtually signed on the “death certificate” of the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout when he signed the contract extension with Top Rank.

The contract extension locks Pacquiao until December 31, 2016, a few days after Pacquiao will turn 38 years old. After the Timothy Bradley fight, Pacquiao said that his “journey in boxing” will continue for two more years. It would be safe to assume then that Top Rank has signed Pacquiao to the end of his incredible boxing journey.

And that journey may very well likely end without ever fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Golden Era?

While there is an ongoing rift within Golden Boy, Bob Arum made peace with his former fighter and promotional rival Oscar De La Hoya. Arum said that he could “work very easily with De La Hoya” and that he can put on fights with boxers who are under contract to Golden Boy. Arum added that “he never said that he wouldn’t deal with Schaeffer (GBP CEO Richard Schaeffer)” and that it was Schaeffer who said he wouldn’t work with Arum.

Arum said that if Amir Khan ends up with Golden Boy after the feud between Schaeffer and De La Hoya, he could end up fighting Manny Pacquiao in the future. With that thinking, Arum might have told us that Mayweather isn’t really in Pacquiao’s future contrary to his 90-10 statement.

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