Arabs want Pacquiao-Mayweather tussle

MANILA, Philippines—What was supposed to be a two-way fight for the right to stage the projected Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. megabuck showdown may yet turn out to be a three-horse race.
Initially, Las Vegas and Texas, specifically the Cowboys Stadium of billionaire Jerry Jones, were considered the most likely venues for the bout predicted to enrich both boxers by about $40 million each.
But a formidable third party—either oil-rich Qatar or Abu Dhabi—has entered the bidding scene for hosting rights.

Here’s the catch: the proponents don’t intend to bring the fight to the Middle East, but will stage it in the United States.
According to a report Thursday, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao’s fight, confirmed the new enticing offer Wednesday.
Arum was quoted by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated as saying that the offer was “way bigger” than the $25 million dangled by Jones if Pacquiao-Mayweather is held at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Arum added that the Qataris are not interested in sponsorships and pay-per-view revenues and will rely on gate receipts, with emphasis on Asian and Arab high-rollers.
While Arum is busy negotiating with the Mayweather camp, Pacquiao is relaxing in New York, where he will be conferred the Fighter of the Year and Fighter of the Decade awards by the Boxing Writers Association of America on Friday (Saturday in Manila) at the Roosevelt Hotel

By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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