After putting to rest rumors of retirement, chatter has broken out that Filipino boxing legend-cum-politician Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao could be headed to Asia for his next fight.
Last Friday, Bob Arum, a promoter from Top Rank Boxing, told ESPN.com that Pacquiao’s next opponent may not be settled yet, but the showdown will almost certainly be in Asia.
“He’s fighting in September, Arum said. “I don’t know against who and I’m not exactly sure where, but it looks like Macau or Singapore.”
Arum made the comments before leaving for Macau where he is promoting a match slated for April 6 at The Venetian resort. Chinese national Zou Shiming is headlining the event in his professional debut. The Venetian is reportedly keen to hold an event headlined by Pacquiao in either its Macau or Singapore resort.
Potential opponents for Pacquiao’s September return include Marquez (for the fifth time) and Timothy Bradley (who defeated Pacquiao in a controversial match in June 2012 and beat Ruslan Provodnikov in March to achieve a record of 30-0).
Ever since Pacquiao was knocked out by Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last December, fans have been on edge, awaiting news about his next move. Since then, the iconic fighter, who was rated the second highest-paid athlete in the world by Forbes, has been busy campaigning. His wife Jinkee is running for vice governor of Sarangani province and his brother Rogelio is running for the sole congressional seat in General Santos City. Manny is up for reelection himself as well, for the sole congressional seat of Sarangani.
“Tell them (fans) to be patient,” Pacquiao told Manila Standard Today. “Bob Arum and myself have been talking and will continue talking. What is definite is they’ll see me fight again come September. Not April nor immediately after that as speculations are going. Tell the public that it won’t be long before I make them happy again when I fight.”
With 18 years and a total of 61 fights under his belt, not much can faze Pacquiao, who says he is happy to meet Marquez again, despite losing in December.
“Marquez, according to news reports, doesn’t want to fight me for the fifth time. It actually is up to him,” he said. “Me? Well, everybody knows I’ll fight anyone. I am not scared of anybody. And that is the reason why boxing fans like me so much. I never avoid anyone. I don’t choose easy fights. I will fight anybody."