MANILA, Philippines - Bob Arum has practically pulled the plug on Manny Pacquiao holding a tune-up fight in April.
The chief of Top Rank Promotions can’t seem to find the right place and the right time for Pacquiao’s comeback fight following his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last Dec. 8.
The ageless boxing promoter was asked yesterday morning if April is a go for the 34-year-old Filipino congressman. His reply was short and simple.
“No,” was Arum’s text message to The STAR.
But Pacquiao’s chief adviser, Mike Koncz, said they’re “still working it out” for Pacquiao to see action in April before he faces Marquez for a fifth time in September.
“April remains our date,” Koncz said in a separate phone interview.
However, it’s easier to believe what Arum said. There’s no available venue for a Pacquiao fight either on April 13 or April 20.
There’s no date in Macau and very little interest from Singapore, and no commitment as of yet from the people from Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Arum has also ruled out Manila as the venue.
Instead, fight fans will get to see reigning WBO super-bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. take on WBA champ Guillermo Rigondeaux in Las Vegas on April 27.
Arum has ruled out a Pacquiao fight in the United States because of tax reasons. It was reported that income taxes for high-earners in the US has risen from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.
This means that whatever Pacquiao earns if he fights in the US, forty percent goes to taxes. Teaxes will definitely be lower if he fights somewhere else.
Arum said if Pacquiao agrees to put his plans on hold, the former pound-for-pound champion can take a full rest and focus his attention to the Philippine elections in May.
Pacquiao is running unopposed as congressman in Sarangani. But it doesn’t mean there’s no work to do because his wife, Jinkee, is eyeing the post of vice governor in the province.
Pacquiao’s younger brother, Roel, is also seeking a congressional seat in General Santos City.
After the elections in May, Pacquiao can train for the Marquez fight for four months if he wants to.
At the same time, Arum will have all the time he needs to hype the fifth fight. If it happens in September, it’s not going to be in the US either.
“(Top Rank president) Todd [duBoeuf] was over in Macau and we can’t get a date with the arena… Singapore is not an option and I don’t think we go to for Manila for the fight, so I think they’re going to have to wait till September,” Arum told www.boxingtalk.com.
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said April it’s “way too soon” for his fighter to return to the ring after the brutal knockout he suffered more than a month ago.
“September is the soonest on my mind,” said Roach.