Arum prepares opponent shortlist for Pacquiao comeback

MANILA, Philippines – With Manny Pacquiao plotting to come out of his brief retirement, Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum has drawn up a shortlist of 3 opponents to face the renowned Filipino boxer. 

Arum, who has been Pacquiao's promoter since 2005, brought the names of Danny Garcia, Jessie Vargas and the winner of the title unification bout between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol into the mix.

Garcia is undefeated in 32 professional matches, with 18 victories coming by way of knockout.

The 28-year-old native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recently captured the vacant WBC welterweight championship by defeating Robert Guerrero via unanimous decision last January.

Meanwhile, Vargas holds a record of 27-1 with 10 KOs and became a two-division world champion this past March by claiming the available WBO welterweight title at the expense of Sadam Ali. 

"I've said the three guys that are now being considered would be the two welterweight champions Danny Garcia and Jessie Vargas," Arum said in an interview with BoxingScene.com. 

Arum revealed that Pacquiao is entertaining the idea of moving down to junior welterweight, which has a weight limit of 140 pounds. 

Pacquiao only competed once at 140 pounds when he scored an emphatic second-round knockout victory over Ricky Hatton to bag the IBO and lineal junior welterweight belts in May 2009. 

"Freddie thinks that Manny wants to go down to 140, which is his natural weight, and fight at that level, so the winner of Crawford-Postol, if the winner emerges like we think he will with all of the credentials - then the winner of that fight could be in the number one position,” said the 84-year-old promoter, who is eyeing either October 29 or November 5 for the comeback fight. 

Crawford and Postol, who are both undefeated with identical win-loss slates of 28-0, will duke it out for the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles on July 23.

Arum has removed Adrien Broner from the equation after claiming the latter demanded a tremendous amount of money. 

Pacquiao lately admitted that his love for boxing has not faded since hanging up his gloves after outpointing Timothy Bradley in their rubber match last April. 

"When you put your passion and your dedication in one sport, you cannot say you're leaving that sport if your passion is there," Pacquiao told Agence France-Presse. – Rappler.com