I won’t be the polical campaign manager of Pacquiao, says Arum

By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS

CALGARY, Canada – Top Rank boss Bob Arum will not interfere in the political career of newly crowned World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.

The 77-year-old Arum made it clear that he will not even discourage Pacquiao from pursuing his congressional bid in Mindanao in the Philippines in the May 2010 elections even if he would be preparing for his next fight within that period.

“I won’t be his political campaign manager and I will have nothing to do whatsoever with his political career,” Arum told this writer in Las Vegas, Nevada several hours after Pacquiao snatched Miguel Angel Cotto’s title with a 12th round technical knockout win.

Pacquiao will pick up the cudgels of his 2007 congressional defeat to Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio in Cotabato and is reportedly preparing a campaign war chest of about half a billion pesos against a rival from the Chiongbian family.

Pacquiao admitted that a lot of people have discouraged him from pursuing his political dream to focus in boxing but explained in Tagalog dialect that “it is my desire to really serve the people.”

He will reportedly file his certificate of candidacy under the KAMPI political party of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whose term will expire in May 2010.

In his preparations against Cotto, Pacquiao, who will turn 31 on December 17, trained only for more or less 60 days mostly in Baguio City where his stint was interrupted by super typhoon.

In his next fight, sources said it might be held in March or two months before the elections in the Philippines in order to give him a wide media mileage.

Arum ruled out New York City as venue for the Filipino southpaw’s next fight owing to the taxes that he will have to pay in the premier state. Aside from paying the IRS, Arum said Pacquiao will have to cough another tax for the state as host of a championship bout.

Either he will still next fight in the states of Nevada or Texas, Arum reported.

Arum also ruled out former World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight titlist Edwin Valero of Venezuela as Pacquiao’s possible foe next as he cannot get a visa to enter the United States after he was deported for drunk driving.

The prominent American promoter refused to discuss further the possibility of Pacquaio facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in March 2010 as their first negotiations bogged down some three months ago over Mayweather’s “incredible” purse demand.