By Keith Idec
Manny Pacquiao officially announced Monday that he has signed with influential adviser Al Haymon.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao was promoted for most of his career by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. The Filipino icon recently signed with Haymon to ensure that he can land the profitable fights he seeks, most notably a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The first fight of Pacquiao’s deal with Haymon likely will come against Adrien Broner on January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. That fight hasn’t been announced, but Pacquiao told multiple outlets in the Philippines last week that a deal to box Broner is “90 percent” done.
Beyond Broner and Mayweather, who is expected to come out of retirement for the third time, Haymon represents welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. (IBF), Keith Thurman (WBA) and Shawn Porter (WBC).
“I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career and I’m looking forward to a fresh start,” Pacquiao said in a statement released Monday. “I’m reinvigorated by the prospects of bringing up new fighters under the MP Promotions banner. My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters. Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career.”
A Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch became more realistic recently because Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) knocked out Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs, 1 NC) in the seventh round of his last fight to win a portion of the WBA’s welterweight title July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
That marked Pacquiao’s first fight in more than a year. He lost a controversial unanimous decision to then-unknown Australian Jeff Horn in his previous fight, a 12-rounder in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
Mayweather’s win against Pacquiao in May 2015 generated more profits than any boxing event in the history of the sport. It produced a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and exceeded $600 million in overall revenue.
The ordinary nature of the fight itself left fans disappointed. Experts think, though, that a Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch remains the most profitable pay-per-view boxing match that can be made.
“MP Promotions is very excited about the last phase of senator Manny’s Hall-of-Fame career,” Joe Ramos, head of MP Promotions, said in the statement. “We look forward to launching this new relationship with Manny’s first world title defense. I would also like to acknowledge matchmaker Sean Gibbons, legal counsel Tom Falgui and senator Manny’s aide, Steve Jumalon, for their tireless efforts and invaluable advice.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.