Arum eyeing Pacquiao for Taylor's return

Bob Arum expects Josh Taylor to return to the ring in the coming months – and has suggested Manny Pacquiao as a potential opponent.

Taylor sacrificed his WBO super lightweight title when in June recording the first defeat of his career, on the night at New York’s Madison Square Garden Theater that Teofimo Lopez produced his finest ever performance.

He has since been linked with a rematch with his long-term rival Jack Catterall and at welterweight with Florian Marku of Albania, but it is the once great Pacquiao his promoter would most like him to fight.

On Saturday Ryan Garcia returns to super lightweight against Oscar Duarte, and on December 9 Regis Prograis defends his WBC title against Devin Haney. Their presence at 10st alongside Taylor, Catterall and Lopez gives the division its greatest appeal since the days of Kostya Tszyu, Floyd Mayweather, Ricky Hatton and Arturo Gatti, and yet the 44-year-old Pacquiao – who retired after showing numerous signs of decline in defeat against Yordenis Ugas in 2021 – is in Arum’s sights.

Scotland’s Taylor, 32, is yet to commit to remaining at super lightweight or moving to welterweight, but Arum, his promoter, told ProBox TV: “We’re looking to have a fight sometime certainly by April of next year. 

“I don’t know who we’re going to match him with, but he’ll be back. He’s a terrific fighter; great kid, and he’ll be back during the first four months of 2024.

“A guy I’d like to get for Taylor is Pacquiao. I think that’d be a good fight, at a catchweight or maybe at 147. I think that’s a fight that Pacquaio would be interested in.”

Asked if he believed Pacquiao would return from retirement, Arum, who promoted the Filipino during his brilliant prime, said: “Yes. He loves doing it; he spends an awful lot of money, spending for office president. 

“He wouldn’t take anybody’s contributions, which is the normal thing to do. He’s a very wealthy guy, Pacquiao, but Manny would like to continue his career for at least another year or two.

“[Money is] the reason why they all come back.

“At catchweight, or maybe even welter, because I think Taylor is having trouble fighting at 140, so we [can] do a catchweight or full 147.”