Next Manny Pacquiao Fight Targeted for Asia, With Opponent Undetermined


by Boxing Insider Staff

Michael Koncz, who is known best as an advisor for Manny Pacquiao and a principal in MP Promotions, is in discussions with promoter Bob Arum that are designed to determine when, where and against whom the next Pacquiao fight will take place.

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Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Some of it may not be set in stone yet, but one thing that would appear definite is that when the time comes, Pacquiao will not be dealing with United States Customs, or the IRS, for that matter.

It had been reported previously here at Boxing Insider that Pacquiao was not looking to fight within United States borders, because of the tax problems such a thing could create, and that Macau was a strong possibility, along with Singapore.

Koncz also offered a third location, although that would appear to be connected to a specific opponent.

The advisor, who was interviewed several days ago by Filipino reporter Nick Giongco, declared that “We’re looking at Macau, Singapore or Mexico City,” adding that mid-September was the target date.

Of course, if the next fight happens to be a fifth match with Juan Manuel Marquez, the man who knocked Pacquiao out in the sixth round last December, the Mexico City site would more or less place him in the visitor’s role, with Marquez as the “home team.”

But Koncz has said that Marquez is not the only option; it would appear that any talk of Mexico City would be moot without his participation.

Arum, chairman of Top Rank, has recently told ESPN that the Macau or Singapore site was going to be most likely, and that Timothy Bradley (a disputed winner over Pacquiao) is also a possibility for the fight, as well as Mike Alvarado, who just prevailed over Brandon Rios.

Unquestionably there needs to be a live gate rights deal accounted for, whether it is derived from direct ticket sales to the public or a guarantee, regardless of whether the site is Macau or Singapore. Certainly as far as the latter is concerned, there have been some false alarms with respect to investors allegedly coming forward to finance a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight in the not-too-distant past.

Arum’s contact in this case is more solid and well-heeled. The Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau is a destination with which the promoter has just started to do business; title defenses of WBO junior lightweight champion Rocky Martinez and WBA/WBO flyweight champ Brian Viloria, in addition to the pro debut of Chinese Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming, will be held there on Saturday. And the Sands Corporation, which owns the Venetian Macau, has a presence in Singapore as well – the Marina Bay Sands.

When it comes to pay-per-view, however, Arum has made no secret about the fact that having a fight halfway around the world would cause a reduction in live subscriber buys. He said that if a fight were to be held in Asia, it would have to take place in the morning, in order to accommodate a live pay-per-view telecast in the United States.

Back in January, Arum had trumpeted the virtues of an 18,000-seat arena in Mexico City as a possible venue, insisting that it compared favorably in size to the MGM Grand Garden and that the surrounding area was safe. But Asia now seems an even safer route – money-wise, that is.

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