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Pacquiao, not Bob Arum, will call the shots

By Nick Giongco

Following the rousing success of his fight in Malaysia, Manny Pacquiao declared yesterday that he will be the one calling the shots as to plans to stage his next fight.

“I, through MP Promotions, will be handling any and all negotiations for my next fight. Nobody is authorized to speak on my behalf. You know my number, call me,” said Pacquiao on social media.

Fresh from winning the World Boxing Association welterweight crown by pummeling Argentine Lucas Matthysse into submission in Kuala Lumpur, Pacquiao’s statements is a clear message even to Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank that his own outfit will take charge of the talks and staging of the fight once a deal is made.

The Malaysia fight saw MP Promotions handle not only the promotional aspect but the logistics as well with help from Oscar De La Hoya’s Goldenboy Promotions and the husband-and-wife tandem of Johnny and Liza Elorde.

Top Rank was likewise called in to lend a hand but its involvement was solely on the US telecast with Arum dispatching Brad Jacobs as his representative.

After Pacquiao mentioned American Terence Crawford and Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko as candidates for his next opponent, Arum revealed that he is going on a trip to the Philippines to discuss with Pacquiao what’s on the horizon.

Arum’s Top Rank has promotional control over the undefeated Crawford and the always superbly conditioned Lomachenko.
But based on Pacquiao’s recent post, the Filipino eight-division champion is not too keen on working with Arum even as co-promoter, opting instead to go solo.

Pacquiao, who is turning 40 on December 17, wants to end the year with a fitting followup to his emphatic win over Matthysse, his first stoppage in almost a decade.

Apart from Crawford and Lomachenko, others on Pacquiao’s radar screen are Amir Khan of England, Danny Garcia of Puerto Rico and Keith Thurman of the US.

However, personages who have played a role on his legendary status have cautioned him not to take on the likes of Crawford or Lomachenko, who are not only fresher and much younger but have styles that won’t bring out the best in Pacquiao.