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CAN’T LET GO

(FILES) In this September 3, 2014 file p

• Pacquiao gives Arum thumbs-up for fight.

• Training done when Congress in recess.

The stage is almost set for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight either on Oct. 29 or Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum told Tempo yesterday that three names have been looked at as possible foes: Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia and Jessie Vargas.

The venues being eyed are the MGM Grand (16,800 seats), Mandalay Bay (12,000), T-Mobile (20,000) and even Thomas and Mack Center (18,000).

Only the choice of foe and the site are the matters that need to be finalized, according to Arum.

“I hope to get things done in a week or so,” said the 84-year-old Hall of Fame promoter, noting that owing to Pacquiao’s job as senator, he has decided to do away with the obligatory press tour that normally takes a week to do.

Instead of traveling to multiple cities to drumbeat the event, Arum will only mandate Pacquiao to stay for a maximum of three days “for the kickoff press conference in Los Angeles.”

“We’ll just do satellite interviews (when he’s here),” said Arum, who has Pacquiao under contract since 2005.

Pacquiao, whose last fight was a masterful beating of Tim Bradley last April at the MGM Grand, corrected Arum’s pronouncements that he will take a leave of absence from his legislative duties so he can train.

“There is no truth to media reports that I’m planning to take a leave from my Senate duties just to fight again,” said Pacquiao in a statement. “I want to make it clear that my priority is my legislative works.”

But Pacquiao, who turns 38 on Dec. 17, admits that in the event he fights again, “I’ll make sure it will not interfere with my Senate duties.”

“If ever I decide to fight again, rest assured it will happen when Congress is on recess so there’s no need for me to go on leave and the entire training camp will be done in the Philippines to ensure I can attend sessions.”

Pacquiao had announced during the third Bradley brawl that he was leaving the fight game so he can focus on his new job as a lawmaker although it wasn’t taken seriously.

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