LAS VEGAS – Assuming Manny Pacquiao survives Jessie Vargas on Saturday night, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum believes there are a couple of mouth-watering fights down the road for the Filipino legend in 2017 that even doesn’t include Floyd Mayweather.
Arum rattled off two viable names: Terence Crawford of the US and Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine.
Crawford has long been seen as a future Pacquiao foe, while Lomachencko suddenly loomed as a possibility owing to his meteoric rise.
The two have crucial assignments before the year comes to a close and wins over their respective foes make them attractive options in the event Mayweather decides to stay retired, noted Arum.
But Arum admits that he is worried sick of Vargas, who has what it takes to ruin his grand plans.
“We can’t look past Vargas,,” said Arum, who turns 85 on Dec. 8.
Meantime Nevada assigned two of boxing’s best referees to handle this Saturday night’s major show at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Kenny Bayless, a familiar name in marquee matches for over a decade, has been appointed to officiate Pacquiao’s shot at Vargas’ world welterweight title.
The three judges for the Pacquiao-Vargas showdown are Glenn Feldman, Dave Moretti and Glenn Trowbridge.
Tony Weeks, also a topnotch third man, will handle Donaire’s defense of the world super-bantam crown against Jessie Magdaleno.
Adalaide Byrd, Burt Clements and Steve Weisfeld are the three judges.
Bayless has officiated many Pacquiao fights, including the landmark fight versus Floyd Mayweather in 2015.