With Floyd Mayweather apparently lining up a dud for his next fight, Manny Pacquiao is looking to come back in 2016 — and his opponent appears more than likely to be the dangerous fighter Mayweather avoided for his supposed final fight, Britain’s 28-year-old Amir Khan.
Pacquiao claimed after his landmark May 2 bout against Mayweather, a fight which he lost by unanimous decision, that he entered the fight with a rotator cuff injury to his right shoulder. But apparently, that injury is healing at a miraculous rate, despite the fact that Pacquiao refused to remain in the United States to undergo a rehab program
“He sent us a video and the therapists are stunned at his progress. They said he could be back at the end of this year,” Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said in an interview with the boxing media earlier this week. “The doctor was amazed when he watched the three-minute self-rehab video. A doctor will go there in the Philippines in the next couple of weeks to evaluate Manny’s shoulder and I’m really optimistic about it.”
Pacquiao himself also vouched for his speedy recovery.
“I am doing good and I can now move my arm without feeling any pain,” the Philippine icon said in his own interview this week.
But despite Arum’s assertion that his prizefighter could return to the ring before the calendar year is out, Pacquiao’s top personal adviser, Michael Koncz, had a somewhat more cautious assessment.
“It’ll be next year, late-February or March,” Koncz told the online publication Boxing Scene. “We have actually sent videos of Manny’s activities to his doctor in the US.”
Arum has publicly proposed that Pacquiao fight Khan in Dubai, and the brash Briton says that his representative have already spoken to Arum’s team about the fight.
“Everyone knows my position: I am ready to fight if they are serious about it. Bob Arum has contacted my team to fight Manny Pacquiao around March or April in Dubai. Let’s see how that develops,” Khan said this week. “Since Floyd is running scared, I want Pacquiao in 2016 when he is back from his injury.”
With Mayweather claiming that his September 12 bout — supposedly against Andre Berto — will be the final fight of his career, Khan loudly lobbied for that fight, but according to Mayweather’s own uncle, Jeff Mayweather, the undefeated fighter chose to snub Khan simply to spite him for talking too much.
On the other hand, Mayweather has “retired” on several occasions already in his career, and many boxing insiders believe that his latest pledge to hang up his gloves is no more serious than his previous “retirements.”
In fact, they expect that Mayweather will fight at least one more time, in 2016, and that in that fight, he will grant Manny Pacquiao a rematch.
[Images: Nigel Roddis/Al Bello/Getty Images]