Manny Pacquiao is coming out of retirement, but as LL Cool J famously said, “Don’t call it a comeback.”
Indeed, it’s only been 15 months since Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And who could forget the billed “Fight of the Century” against Floyd Mayweather that turned out to be the dud of the decade?
Pacquiao has been spending his time serving in the Senate of the Philippines. The 37-year-old served in the Philippine House of Representatives from 2010-2016, and assumed his higher elected position on June 30 of this year.
But on November 5, Pacquiao will return to Vegas and step back into the ring. Boxing promoter Bob Arum confirmed the news to ESPN.
The fight against a yet-to-be-determined opponent will be held at the Thomas & Mack Center, the University of Nevada’s basketball stadium.
“MGM really wanted to do the fight but they didn’t have a building,” Arum revealed. “They did everything they could to free up a place for us but Nov. 5 didn’t work, but that is what worked for Manny.”
MGM Loses, Steve Wynn Wins
MGM is the go-to boxing casino partner for the sport, but Pacquiao’s return won’t be at the Grand Garden or even on the Strip.
Instead, Steve Wynn has seized the opportunity to welcome back one of the greatest boxers of all time to the sport. Arum says the Wynn Las Vegas will be the official host resort.
Arum is planning to document Pacquiao on film leading up to the fight.
“We’ll have a camera crew over in the Philippines. We are going to film Manny working as a senator during the day and then training at night.”
Securing Wynn with the Pacquiao match solved one problem. The other pressing issue is who is going to televise the spectacle.
HBO is already committed to airing a pay-per-view fight on November 19. ESPN’s Dan Rafael says it would be rare for the premium cable network to air two PPV events in one month.
That means Showtime is likely the leading candidate.
Big Name, Big Bucks?
Whoever ends up fighting Pacquiao this fall will stand to reap the financial rewards. Fifteen Pacquiao PPV bouts have generated at least $20 million in revenue, and six have surpassed $70 million.
The granddaddy of them all, Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, grossed $400 million.
But this fight obviously won’t have the same lure, and it remains to be seen if Pacquiao’s stock and reputation has suffered.
Many believe Manny folded during the Mayweather fight and failed to disclose an injury that kept him from being typical Pacquiao. After the fight he revealed an ongoing shoulder injury, a revelation that held the potential to void a legal agreement that could have resulted in perjury charges.
The fight was all about money, and that was proven by Manny stepping into the ring against perhaps the greatest boxer ever not at 100 percent.
Gamblers might penalize Manny this time around.