Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank discuss contract extension


Manny Pacquiao is currently negotiating a contract extension with his promoter, Top Rank, which would entail five fights through 2016, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum confirmed to on Monday.

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Pacquiao is coming off a unanimous decision over Tim Bradley on April 12 that regained the WBO welterweight title belt he lost by disputed decidion in June 2012.

Prior to Bradley, Pacquiao lost by sixth-round stoppage to Juan Manuel Marquez, against whom he is 2-1-1, but rebounded with November's unanimous decision over Brandon Rios.

The WBO has mandated that Pacquiao face the winner of a May 17 welterweight bout between Marquez and Mike Alvarado.

"We've had very good discussion and pretty much a meeting of the minds, but we still have to sort out the details. The fact is that there are plenty of future guys for Manny to fight," said Arum, adding Pacquiao's current contract extends through the end of 2014 and that the Filipino star could return to the ring as early as the fall.

"Manny can fight the winner of Marquez and Alvarado, he can fight Ruslan Provodnkov, and there are a lot guys that are out there because there are guys developing all the time who are serious, serious competitors, including hopefully and obviously Floyd Mayweather. Manny has many, many possible opponents."

In additon to Mayweather, who has said that he will not fight Pacquiao if he remains aligned with Arum, the 82-year-old promoter even raised the notion of a rematch with three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto, whom Pacquiao dethroned as WBO 147-pound titleholder in November 2009. Cotto is rising to face RINg and WBC 160-pound champion Sergio Martinez on June 7 on HBO Pay Per View at New York's Madison Square Garden.

"As the years pass, there will be others, for example, who wouldn't want to see him in against Miguel Cotto again if Miguel Cotto is successful against Martinez," said Arum of Cotto, who is now being trained by Pacquiao's longtime cornerman, Freddie Roach.

"Indeed, who wouldn't want to see Pacquiao against Martinez if Martinez is successful, and can come down in weight a little bit. Pacquiao might even decide to fight Martinez or even Canelo Alvarez."

Arum has reportedly been in discussion with rival Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya about Alvarez, although Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has dismissed the prospect of working with Arum.

Pacquiao's advisor, Michael Koncz, acknowledged amicable discussion with Arum, even as he said the eight-division titlewinner is broaching the idea of promoting himself under his own MP Promotions' banner and partnering with others for his fights.

"Arum has a company to protect and I have a fighter and a friend to protect. We may extend our contract with Bob. Bob has been good to us, and we have nothing negative to say about Top Rank, but we have to decide what's best for Manny at this stage of his career." said Koncz of Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter since 2005.

"We've been with Top Rank a long time, and they were good to us, so we don't know. If we don't extend our contract with Top Rank, we may go out on our own and promoter ourselves. Maybe we'll have a partner and promoter ourselves. We have not talked about any opponents."