Exclusive: Arum confirms three in the frame for Pacquiao, decision possible next week
WBN participated in a scheduled call with Bob Arum on Wednesday night and as you can imagine the Top Rank promoter was not in high spirits regarding recent goings on.
Arum has spent the best part of 48 hours denying a UK report that Manny Pacquiao had agreed to fight Amir Khan on April 9 in Las Vegas but managed to divulge the latest on the situation whilst in Las Vegas for Bradley v Rios fight week.
Eight-weight world champion Pacquiao, 36, is set to fight for the final time in the spring of next year, eleven months on from his defeat to Floyd Mayweather, and Arum confirmed that a trio of opponents are being considered for the contest.
“Manny will be looking at three guys. Terence Crawford, Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley if he beats Brandon Rios on Saturday night and looks good,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News during the call.
“I got nothing else I can say on this. No deal has been made with anybody, but I’ve got a pretty good idea what everybody is going to cost and it’s up to Manny Pacquiao.
“But I can’t read Pacquiao’s mind. Believe me, Pacquiao is the one who will make the decision – not me. Manny Pacquiao will make that decision some time, probably at the end of next week.”
Regarding who is the frontrunner out of the three contenders, or at what weight Pacquiao will compete at for a possible clash with super lightweight champion Crawford, Arum remains as in the dark as everyone else.
“I have to talk to Manny. It’s so premature now to say anything about these things and next week I’ll be able to talk about it,” he said.
Khan, 28, is hoping to finally nail down one of the biggest names in the sport after missing out on Floyd Mayweather on more than one occasion in the past, whilst Crawford is one of the hottest properties in the sport right now.
Bradley has already fought Pacquiao twice, losing on both occasions by all accounts despite holding a highly-debatable decision win, and at this point seems to be an outside bet to land the PPV encounter.