LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum is starting to believe that Manny Pacquiao is going to retire after Saturday night’s clash with Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand, a huge turnaround from his earlier prediction that he will fight on.
“I really wouldn’t be surprised if this will be his last fight. I don’t see the hunger for continuing. I think he is really serious about devoting himself to other things like being a politician, a legislator. I really think that,” Arum said on Friday afternoon.
Arum feels Pacquiao, 37, hasn’t asked him about what’s down the road, unlike before when the Filipino was already looking forward to knowing what’s being planned.
“He’s not talking to me about, if I win, I wanna fight ‘X’ and I wanna fight ‘Y’.
If Pacquiao wins a Senate seat during next month’s elections in the Philippines, the only thing that could force the 37-year-old southpaw from coming back is a rematch with Floyd Mayweatger.
But even that is a longshot, noted Arum, citing that Mayweather himself doesn’t seem so keen about making a return to the ring.
“If he has a big victory and if Mayweather goes crazy with his victory and say, ‘I wanna do a rematch,’ then the money is so enormous that he might say yes, but other than that, I don’t see it (comeback),” said the 84-year-old Arum.
Even Pacquiao won’t be compelled to stage a comeback if it will be against some guy other than the unbeaten Mayweather.
“He’s (Pacquiao) not going to come back just to do another ordinary Manny Pacquiao fight.”
The May 2015 showdown between Pacquiao and Mayweather generated a staggering 4.4 million buys on pay-per-view and posted a whopping $71 million plus in gate receipts, making it the richest fight on record.
Arum maintains that the money that will be earned in a rematch will make Pacquiao change his mind even if he doubts whether a second meeting could eclipse the first fight in terms of revenue to be generated.
“Nothing will ever be bigger than that. Even if it is half (of the first fight), that’s an enormous amount of money.”
But it would still be depended on Mayweather, said Arum.
“A rematch with Mayweather is the obviously the more lucrative event but there is no indication that Mayweather wants to continue fighting. No indication at all.”
Still, Arum is not saying it (rematch) is dead in the water.
“I think that if Manny wins and looks really good like a knockout, Mayweather will realize how much (money) there will be in a rematch. We might start negotiation. But he has made no indication that he wants to come back.”