By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum claims a five fight contract extension with his prized possession, “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao, is almost done.
Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard - “We’ve pretty well agreed on all points. I’m getting it wrapped up with Michael Koncz (Pacquiao’s adviser who is in the US) and then he’s going to take it to the Philippines for Manny’s signature.”
Koncz for his part told the Standard - “We are talking but nothing is final. He’s got a company to protect and I have Manny to protect. We’ve been together for a long time so (the mood) is okay.”
He said “Manny talked to me last night gave me a couple of projects to do and I’ll leave Wednesday” for Manila. However, he didn’t disclose what the projects were.
Arum confirmed what Pacquiao told us during a courtesy call on Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Vice Mayor Ishko Moreno last week that he will fight the winner of the Juan Manuel Marquez – Mike Alvarado fight possibly in November.
The Top Rank promoter said “the WBO has indicated that the winner of that fight will be a mandatory for Manny.”
Should Marquez win it will be his fifth fight against Pacquiao but if Alvarado wins Arum indicated “ we won’t have a problem making that fight because he (Alvarado) fights for me also.”
Arum said the people at the Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Macau are “very happy with the ticket sales” for the WBA featherweight title fight between Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and champion Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa who won the title late last year in Metro City, Perth, Western Australia when longtime champion Chris John of Indonesia quit at the end of the sixth round.
The Top Rank promoter whose exciting May 31 card will be headlined by three world featherweight title bouts told us “ the response has been great” and added “ believe me its one of the best cards of the year” which will also feature IBF champion Evgeny Gradovich (18-0, 9 KO’s) against Alexander Miskirtchian (24-2-1, 9 KO’s) and WBA champion Nicholas Walters of Jamaica (23-0, 19 KO’s) against Vic Darchinyan (39-6-1 28 KO’s).
Arum described the reported rift between Golden Boy Promotions owner Oscar De La Hoya and CEO Richard Schaefer, where they didn’t even talk to each other during last weekend’s fight card, as “very silly” even as he emphasized he “never had any animosity to Oscar but you know what kind of person Schaefer is.”