By Edward Chaykovsky
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum believes eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) will have - provided he wins in the fall - at least two more fights in 2017.
Pacquiao will return on November 5th to challenge World Boxing Organization welterweight world champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao retired in April after winning a twelve round decision over Timothy Bradley in their trilogy fight. He wanted to pursue a full time career in politics and secure and a senatorial seat back home in the Philippines in the month of May.
For the first time in years, he plans to play out his entire training camp back home to avoid any potential conflicts with his duties as a senator.
“I don’t know how extensive the work is as a senator in the Philippines. Manny does, the other senators do, they all feel and Manny feels that he can train here in Manila and not miss any sessions, fight in the period when the Senate is in recess, and give a great performance,” Arum said. “In fact whether he can do that or not, that’s up to him. It’s something that we have never ever seen before in the sport of boxing.”
If Pacquiao comes out on top, Arum already has some ideas in mind for Pacquiao's likely final year in the sport.
“If he wins this fight, we have the idea for a couple of big fights next year. And I think that will end his career with two more fights in 2017,” Arum said.
Arum cautions that there is no guarantee of Pacquiao beating Vargas. He feels the fight will be a lot tougher than what many people expect it to be.
“He's is not an opponent who goes into his shell, who’s a defensive fighter. He’s very very offensive, he is beginning to really punch with authority,” Arum said.