Manny Pacquiao has not picked his opponent for his comeback fight but insisted he wanted his next bout not later than April 9 next year so he could focus on his political career, particularly his campaign to be a senator of the Republic of the Philippines.
Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum said he hooked up with Manny in New York last week where the Filipino fighter told him that he wanted his "farewell fight" to happen in the first quarter of 2016 because he wanted to go full-blast with his political campaign after April 9, reported Spin.ph.
"Manny said to me at a dinner in New York last week, 'Bob, I'm going to be a senator. I can't fight any longer as a senator because I can't be absent and this fight has to take place no later than April 9, and it will be my last fight," Arum said in an interview with USA Today.
The 36-year-old boxing champ and eight-world division title holder was in New York last week to receive the 2015 Asian Game Changer of the Year Award.
Arum said he is choosing amongst Terence Crawford, Amir Khan, and Timothy Bradley as possible opponent of Pacquiao.
Crawford is scheduled to tangle with Dierry Jean this weekend for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light welterweight crown, while Bradley will face Brandon Rios in November. Bradley won against Pacquiao in their first meeting in 2012 in a controversial split decision.
According to Arum, Pacquiao wants to focus on his political career as the boxing champ hopes to become the president of the Philippines someday. Arum said, "I'm happy because one thing that's extraordinarily important given his life plans, is he really wants to be president of the Philippines and he really wants to serve the people in the Philippines. And he's gotta be able to do it without any kind of impairment to his brain function and the more you stay in boxing, the more you risk that."
In a separate interview, Arum reportedly advised Pacquiao to forget about pursuing a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The American boxer who calls himself, "Money," beat the Pacquiao on points in May and has since retired from the sport after his bout with Andre Berto.
"He would like to fight Mayweather, but since this is his last fight, and looking at where we are on time, I told him he needs to forget about it and move on," Arum said in the LA Times as reported by the Daily Post.
Meanwhile, former champion and future Hall of Famer Ronald "Winky" Wright expressed doubt if his friend Khan has enough fire power to challenge Pacquiao in the ring, said Boxing Scene.
Khan and Pacquiao are not unfamiliar with each other. The two used to be sparring partners and are used to trading punches while training with Freddie Roach of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California. Khan left Wild Card in 2012 to train with Virgil Hunter.
"I like both fighters, they're good fighters. If I had to bet, I'm gonna have to bet on Pacquiao, he's just a little monster, but Amir Khan is a good little fighter man, he throws a lot of punches and I like him and I'm friends with him. I don't know if Amir's got the power to keep Pacquiao off of him, because Pacquiao's coming to knock you out. Can Amir hurt him enough or stun him enough to make him respect him?," Wright said.