It is a time of transition for Top Rank, the lead dog in the boxing promotional sphere. Their pack leader, Manny Pacquiao, is coming off a loss, and is having a harder time juggling fighting and politics as he edges up the ladder, from Congress to the Senate, in his Philippines..
Bob Arum, 86 in December, still has a keen eye for what works and a sharp mind for what roads need to be taken to remain relevant and top of the heap. His company signed a multi year deal with ESPN, which has lost subscribers but is still the world wide leader in sports news and content, amid a cord cutting flurry.
But still, Arum will need some new blood to keep climbing to get to the place of prominence that Pacquiao did, becoming a transcendent figure known outside that hardcore sphere of boxing fans. Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko are making good ground on their road to glitzier promised lands.
And what of Pacman; how much longer will he do the boxing/politics juggling act?
How many fights does Manny have left?
“We are moving forward with a rematch with Jeff Horn for Pacquiao and it may very well be his last fight,” Arum told us on the latest TALKBOX. “I think it will be. I think it’s time for him to hang it up. Manny has a big future in politics, and nobody wants anything bad to happen to him physically, while he pursues his true love, and that’s the desire to govern in the Phillipines.”