Sports

Bob Arum Confirms Manny Pacquiao’s Retirement Plans

| by Alex Groberman

Everyone realizes that the end of Manny Pacquiao’s career is fast approaching, but something about Bob Arum discussing the topic makes it all the more official.

During his recent trip to Manila, Arum stopped to speak to the Philippine Star regarding his star fighter’s future plans – both in and out of the ring. According to the famed Top Rank boss, Pacquiao intends to call it quits at the end of 2013, after running for the governor of the Sarangani province. That, of course, is more or less the time period most people have pinpointed as when Pacquiao will retire, and perfectly falls in line with the Filipino champion’s prior statements.

For now, though, Pacquiao seems intent on righting a past wrong against Juan Manuel Marquez, something he no doubt considers a vital part of solidifying his legacy. Over the last few years, one of the main knocks on Pacquiao has been the fact that -- in some people’s eyes -- Marquez deserved to win at least one of the two fights they participated in. Then, after his second victory over Marquez in 2008 when Pacquiao said he would not agree to a third match, some suggested that perhaps Pacquiao was ducking Marquez.

All of that is ancient history now, however, as Pacquiao prepares to square off against Marquez on November 12. The former fighter is regarded as the heavy favorite going in and, outside of Angelo Dundee and Teddy Atlas, nobody is really giving the latter much of a chance.

Looking ahead, Arum suggested that after Marquez, they’d consider fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr., Andre Berto, Timothy Bradley and Mike Jones. Mayweather, obviously, is the most desirable candidate, but given the precarious nature of discussions between all parties involved over the last year and change, a bout that was once deemed inevitable is anything but a certainty now.

When speaking of the alleged bad blood between Pacquiao and Marquez, Arum downplayed the rivalry.

“Obviously, Marquez felt he should’ve won his first two fights against Manny,” said Arum. “He might’ve said things he regretted later. Marquez admits that Manny’s a great champion and a great fighter. I don’t think there are hard feelings. What I know is Marquez is determined to win. But then so is Manny.”

Because of the mutual respect between the two men (key to a competitive bout) and Pacquiao’s knack for being a pay-per-view buys magnet, Arum noted that he foresees “well over 1.5 million pay-per-view buys.”

Not too long ago, Opposing Views mapped out the ideal course of fights for Pacquiao as he makes his farewell tour in boxing. Given this confirmation that 2013 appears to be the end of days and, the Filipino champ’s tendency to fight two fights per year, the three fights we identified seem to fall in line perfectly with what’s both feasible and very desired by boxing aficionados everywhere.