UAE gears up as Pacquiao hints he has more than one fight left

Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao poses for photo after a press conference shortly after arriving from the US at the international airport in Manila on May 13, 2015. (AFP)

Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao hinted he has several more fights left in him after his American promoter said he will likely retire next year.

Pacquiao played down remarks by promoter Bob Arum that he would fight just once more in 2016 before hanging up his gloves to run for Senate.

"I know better what is happening to my body," Pacquiao defiantly said late Saturday, reacting to Arum's statement. "Just leave it alone. Better not to react to that," he told reporters.

British welterweight Amir Khan is considering a mega showdown with the Filipino boxing legend after being repeatedly shunned by unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr., who will take on Andre Berto in Las Vegas on September 12.

"He'll fight early next year and probably in the Middle East. Vegas is a possibility, but more likely in the Middle East," said Pacquiao's promoter Arum last month.

Pacquiao is also looking for rematch with Mayweather having lost a unanimous decision in the May 2 'Fight of the Century' in Las Vegas following which he underwent surgery on a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

The Khan-Pacquiao showdown could take place in Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

“We are putting together an HBO show ‘live’ in prime time Dubai later this year featuring at least two world championship fights with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. During the week of that show, we would do a major tribute to Ali.

“We expect Pacquiao in March against Amir Khan who is our first preference,” M Akbar Muhammad, president of Akbar Productions LLC based in New Jersey, USA, said in an exclusive interview with Emirates 24|7.

Arum confirmed that Akbar Productions, LLC, has been tasked with bringing big time boxing to the UAE, including a match between Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao and British boxer Amir Khan.

Arum was quoted on Thursday as saying that the 36-year-old Pacquiao wants to get on with his political career and run for the Senate in the Philippines.

"I believe he'll take one more fight, then run for the Senate in the Philippines," Arum said.

Pacquiao, who has won eight world championships in different weight divisions, has previously parlayed his boxing fame into a career in showbiz and election as a congressman.

However he lost a unanimous decision to American Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas four months ago in a fight that Pacquiao fought with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.

Pacquiao has declined to say whether he will run for higher office in the 2016 national elections but has previously said he expects to fight again in April against an unnamed opponent.

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