BILL DWYRE

Bob Arum goes the distance for his next big fight

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Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum

Promoter Bob Arum, right, speaks with boxer Manny Pacquiao before a news conference in Shanghai, China, on July 31. Arum may be in his eighties, but he's still taking risks. (Eugene Hoshiko / Associated Press / July 31, 2013)

Two straight defeats. Was he done? Should he be?

He says he's fine, the same thing he said shortly after December's KO.

"I'm a congressman," he says. "If I thought something was wrong, I would stop immediately."

The congressman from the Sarangani province of the Philippines, always bolstered in the voting booth by his success in the boxing ring, has been reelected once. In 2016, he will up his political aspirations and run for senator. There are only 24 of those in the country, and much is not only made of them in a politically crazed country, but more is made of who collects the most votes en route to winning.

The No. 1 in that category becomes the most talked-about candidate for president of the Philippines. You have to be 40 to be president. Pacquiao will be 43 at the time of the Philippines' 2022 presidential election.

Pacquiao sits at a table and smiles coyly as an aide describes all this.

"That is not in my mind now," he says, smiling coyly again.

Rios, a 27-year-old from Oxnard with a quick wit and similar punches, is a pawn in all this. Arum tried to boost his value at a media gathering, saying that Rios had been very popular on a recent press tour in China.

There is seldom madness to Arum's method. The subject of Arum's potential new pots of gold in China was broached. Would its potential up the ante for revisiting the long-desired and oft-spurned super fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.?

You think?" Arum says. "Might that not speak to a guy whose nickname is … Money?"

bill.dwyre@latimes.com

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