Manny Pacquiao heads back to Philippines with future uncertain

Nick Giongco 11/05/2015

Esther Lin

Still reeling from the heartbreaking loss to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao arrives in Manila tomorrow morning from Los Angeles uncertain of what to do next.

“Boxing is the farthest in our minds right now,” said Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz, who will join Pacquiao in the 14-hour journey on board flag-carrier Philippine Airlines.

“We haven’t discussed it (comeback) and our main concern is for the injury to heal,” said Koncz.

Pacquiao aggravated a right shoulder injury during the 12-round unanimous decision defeat to Mayweather after suffering an injury during a sparring session in early-April.

Doctors immediately performed surgery on the torn rotator cuff in Los Angeles and early prognosis say the 36-year-old Pacquiao will be out for the rest of the year although he could make a surprise return by late-November or early-December.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum said Pacquiao will undergo rehabilitation in the Philippines and his doctor, the eminent Neal ElAttrache, will likely make a trip to the country to “check on his progress.”

Pacquiao remains under contract with Top Rank until the end of 2016 and Arum is unsure if he can wiggle a fight for him towards the end of the year in Macau or someplace else.

But Koncz is not even thinking about a return to the ring for his boss at this point in time.

“Who knows? Manny might not even fight again,” he said.

Hopes for a second meeting between Pacquiao and Mayweather, whose fight has generated 5 million pay-per-view buys, flickered a few days after when the undefeated US fighter said he is open to it.

But Mayweather immediately doused cold water on that when he came out on primetime TV recanting his earlier statement about a rematch, adding he got turned off by Pacquiao’s insistence that he wasn’t in tip top shape when they fought at the MGM Grand owing to the injury.

Mayweather has one more fight left in his six-fight contract with Showtime and says he will return to the ring one last time in September, quashing talks that he intends to fight beyond this year,

Still, the likelihood of a rematch with Pacquiao looms with the completion of the 20,000-capacity MGM-AEG Arena in Las Vegas in April 2016 and what could be a more fitting event to hold than a sequel to the richest fight ever on May 7.

Meanwhile, a motorcade will be held upon his return in the country.

After a press conference at the airport, Pacquiao and his team will proceed to Makati for a breakfast meeting with political leaders and with executives of Solar Sports, GMA, ABS-CBN and ABC5.

On Thursday morning, Pacquiao will head back to General Santos City to attend to the needs of his constituents in Saragani, which also be an opportunity for himself to ponder on his next move.

Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks