Lem Satterfield

Pacquiao extends Top Rank contract through December 2016

Manny Pacquiao and his company, MP Promotions, have announced the signing of an extension to the fighter's promotional contract with Top Rank Promotions through December 2016, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum announced on Tuesday.

"We are pleased that together with our partners at HBO, we will continue presenting to the public fights of the great Manny Pacquiao through the end of 2016," said Arum. "The partnership among Manny, Top Rank, MP Promotions and HBO has been a wonderful one for all parties and for the public and it's great that it will continue for the years to come."

Although no specific details were provided in Tuesday's release, late last month, Arum and Pacquiao announced their mutual negotiations for a contract that would entail five fights through 2016. Pacquiao's current contract extends through the end of 2014.

"It's a two-year extension, and there might be more than five fights," said Arum, during an interview with RingTV.com on Tuesday. "There's one fight under the current contract, which will be in November, and there will be a minimum of four fights within the next two years. We'll play it by ear."

Pacquiao is coming off a unanimous decision over Tim Bradley on April 12 and regained the WBO welterweight title belt he lost by disputed decision in June of 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 had mandated that Pacquiao fight the winner of the May 17 welterweight bout between Marquez and Mike Alvarado. Marquez won by unanimous decision in a fight during which he dropped Alvarado in the eighth and was floored himself in the ninth.

Last month, Arum mentioned several potential opponents for Pacquiao, including WBO 140-pound titleholder and former sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov.

"The fact is that there are plenty of future guys for Manny to fight…he can fight Ruslan Provodnikov," said Arum. "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."

Mayweather announced on Tuesday that he will return to the ring on Sept. 13, this, after having unanimously decision Marcos Maidana on May 3, adding Maidana's WBA welterweight belt to the RING and WBC championships Mayweather already owned. 

In addition to Mayweather, who has said 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 titlist 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. Cotto is now trained by Pacquiao's longtime cornerman, Freddie Roach.

"Indeed, who wouldn't want to see Pacquiao against Martinez?" asked Arum, last month. "If Martinez is successful and can come down in weight a little bit, Pacquiao might even decide to fight Martinez or even [Saul] 'Canelo' Alvarez."

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