May’s Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight wasn’t just the most lucrative event in boxing history, it might turn out to have been each combatant’s penultimate appearance in the ring. Mayweather followed that up with a September defeat of Andre Berto that he insists was his final bout, and now Bob Arum is saying that Pacquiao’s next fight is likely his last, as well.

Since losing to Mayweather, Pacquiao has been recovering from surgery for a shoulder he injured while training for that fight, an injury he blames for his lackluster performance. On Monday, Pacquiao said his shoulder was about 80 to 90 percent healed, and that he would begin training later this year for a fight in early 2016 against an as yet unnamed opponent.

Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, said on Tuesday that the 2016 fight could well serve as the Filipino fighter’s final bout. Arum explained that, later next year, Pacquiao plans on being elected to the Senate of the Philippines, which would involve a six-year term in which the fighter would have to focus entirely on his country’s issues.

“He can’t [mess] around and take off to go into a training camp for three months if he’s in office as a senator,” Arum said (via the Los Angeles Times). “Senators do most of the work in the Philippines. They have to be there virtually every day. He knows if he’s a senator, he can’t fight.”

As for Pacquiao’s upcoming opponent, Arum had this to say to the Times:

“He would like to fight Mayweather, but since this is his last fight, and looking at where we are on time, I told him he needs to forget about it and move on.”

For his part, Pacquiao had said Monday (via the Associated Press), “If you ask me, of course, I want a rematch. I heard that he retired already. If he really retired, then there’s no rematch. But if not …”

Pacquiao added that, armed with a surgically repaired shoulder, he could at least provide more action in a hypothetical rematch with Mayweather. Meanwhile, another boxer viewed as a much more likely opponent, Amir Khan, is saying that he is looking at other options because the Pacquiao camp is dragging its heels on a fight contract.

“It just seems Pacquiao doesn’t want to fight me,” Khan told BBC Sport.

“Nobody can figure out why [Khan] is saying that,” Arum told the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve spoken to his attorney, Robert Davis, and we’re going back and forth on the numbers. The kid [Khan] talks too much. It’s probably why he lost the Mayweather fight. If there’s no contract to sign, who’s stalling who?”

The 36-year-old Pacquiao has a career record of 57-6-2, with three losses in his past six fights.

Courtesy Washington Post