Dubai offer on the table to host Pacquiao's next fight
Eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao has received a massive offer to stage his next fight in Dubai, according to trainer Freddie Roach.
Despite being knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez last December, Pacquiao has no plans to hang up his gloves just yet. A fifth fight with Mexican nemesis Marquez is expected to be made later this year – and it looks increasingly likely any Pacman bout will take place outside of the USA.
Having previously discussed the possibility of a fight in Dubai with Floyd Mayweather Jnr in January, last year, Roach believes the city has all the ingredients to stage a “great event” – and revealed there is already cash on the table to make it happen.
“I got a phone call from someone in Dubai on Monday, who offered $10million (Dh37m) for Manny to fight there in April,” Roach told Sport360° last night.
“But I told him to call (promoter) Bob Arum because I don’t make his fights; I just get him ready.
“A place like Dubai for a fight could be great. It’s a great location for pay-per-view and TV networks and it would be seen worldwide.
“There would definitely be a lot of interest for a fight to take place there so it has the potential to be a great event.”
Filipino hero Pacquiao has made Las Vegas a home away from home, but promoter Arum yesterday insisted heavy taxation meant fights in the US were no longer viable.
“He doesn’t want to fight in the United States,” said the Top Rank boss. “How come? Because he’d have to give close to 40 per cent to the government. It’s getting ridiculous. As far as Manny is concerned, and Marquez, they would prefer that the fight not be in the United States.”
Roach revealed Macau had been considered as a potential venue, but was ruled out. He also said Pacquiao was keen on an April return – even if he felt he would be better off taking a longer break from the ring.
He said: “They were discussing if they could host it in Macau, but it isn’t possible so that won’t be happening now. But he wants to fight in April. He’s anxious and wants to get back into the ring. I told him we might have to wait a little while.
“I want him to wait and rest a bit because that was a bad knockout so I think September would be a better date. But if he feels he is ready to fight in April then we’ll get him ready for that.”
But one of Pacquiao’s former foes does not think he should carry on. Briton Ricky Hatton, beaten by the Pacman in their world title bout in 2009, said: “I’d like to see Manny retire now. There’s always that one more fight you can have, and I made a comeback, I tried to do it. I’d like to see Manny retire and go down as a legend, which he is.”