Three more fights — one before the end of 2018 and two in 2019 — and Manny Pacquiao rides off into the sunset.
Just before flying back to the US on Saturday morning, Arum spoke about his “very cordial and informative” two-hour meeting with Pacquiao in General Santos City last Friday afternoon.
“We know what he wants,” Arum, the head of Top Rank, told the as he was waiting for the call to board the Philippine Airlines jet bound for Los Angeles.
Arum, 86, was joined in his whirlwind visit to the country by stepson Todd Duboef, the Top Rank president, and Pacquiao made it clear to him that “he wants a fight this year and two more next year and then Sayonara.”
There were no negotiations during the discussions. But Arum was more than satisfied with what had transpired during his “courtesy call” at Pacquiao’s crib, and he plans to buckle down to work when he gets home.
Pacquiao didn’t say though who he wants as a dancing partner for December.
“Still up in the air,” said Arum, whose company no longer has full promotional rights over the Filipino legend but continues to have a role in staging the next fight.
Arum has Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko under his wings, names that are always mentioned as potential Pacquiao foes.
There is also British puncher Amir Khan, Pacquiao’s former sparring partner who has expressed the desire to face his ex-stablemate whether it be in London or Dubai or some other exotic locale.
Arum is not the only one chasing Pacquiao, whose stock rose after his seventh-round knockout win over Lucas Matthysse of Argentina last month in Malaysia.
If Arum doesn’t come up with a mouthwatering offer, Pacquiao could hook up with other suitors, including British Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and even Floyd Mayweather’s TMT.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco, Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks