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Pacquiao’s next fight shaping up?
Pacquiao’s next fight shaping up?
By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star 10/07/2004
Manny Pacquiao spent his first night back in Manila playing billiards. No doubt, the consensus world featherweight boxing champion is happy to be home.
Although there is talk of a coming fight against Guyana stylist Gairy St. Clair on Nov. 27 or Dec. 4 at the Global City, nothing is set in stone. The word is a syndicate is raising money to finance the non-title bout in the Fort Bonifacio complex with Taguig Mayor Freddie Tinga’s participation.
Pacquiao returned home, unannounced and without business manager Rod Nazario’s knowledge, last Tuesday morning after training almost a month at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym in Los Angeles.
Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee flew in from General Santos City to meet her husband in Manila. The couple left for General Santos City yesterday as Pacquiao was eager to check on his five-door apartment building which is under construction.
Pacquiao said he was homesick and needed a break from his grueling workout regimen. He has reportedly been sparring with lightweights and welterweights in Roach’s gym because fighters in his division aren’t able to withstand his punches. Pacquiao complained of pain in his wrists due to banging sessions with much heavier sparmates.
Pacquiao intimated he would stay here up to a week then go back to Los Angeles to resume training.
But Nazario’s associate Ramon (Moy) Lainez said he will advise Pacquiao to remain in the country if the St. Clair fight firms up.
Pacquiao, however, may insist on returning to Los Angeles because his younger brother Bobby is due to make his US debut on Oct. 16. The brothers left Manila for Los Angeles with superflyweight prospect Z Gorres and trainer Buboy Fernandez last Sept. 8. Gorres is booked to make his own US debut on Nov. 12.
Lainez said Nazario initially considered promoting Pacquiao’s next fight at the Araneta Coliseum. Nazario, who is in the US visiting relatives with his wife, thought of offering the fight to Araneta management for a $1 Million flat fee in exchange for the entire gate receipts. With the fee, Nazario planned to assemble a strong undercard. The TV package would be split 60-40 in favor of Solar Sports.
The Araneta deal was scuttled when Pacquiao’s New Jersey promoter Murad Muhammad said he had arranged a fight instead at the Fort. Muhammad claimed he received a $650,000 down payment from an unnamed Filipino financier.
It was reported but not confirmed that Pacquiao got a $15,000 advance from Muhammad before leaving Los Angeles. Pacquiao recently took a P650,000 advance in staggered amounts from Nazario, through Lainez, for his share of the dividends from the TV show "In This Corner." Pacquiao and Nazario are the program’s producers. They are also business partners in the Wild Card Gym near B. F. Homes, Parañaque.
Pacquiao said with the February rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico almost a sure thing, he needs a tuneup to avoid getting rusty. He has fought only once this year.
The proposed fight against St. Clair may be sanctioned as an International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight title eliminator which means it will be a 12-rounder. The IBF recently stripped Morales of recognition for failing to ask for an exception to defend the title against Pacquiao victim Marco Antonio Barrera. IBF rules stipulate a hefty fee for the exception–which is probably why Morales didn’t bother to ask for it.
Last July, Morales retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) title and annexed the IBF crown by scoring a lopsided decision over Carlos Hernandez in a unification showdown in Las Vegas. He will stake the WBC diadem against Barrera on Nov. 27 in Las Vegas. Pacquiao predicted Barrera, who is in his sights for a million-dollar rematch, to beat Morales.
The IBF is expected to tap Robbie Peden and Nate Campbell to dispute the vacant throne with a possible stipulation for the survivor to defend against the winner of the Pacquiao-St. Clair match.
Muhammad has come under fire from Pacquiao’s camp for failing to nail a fight after the Marquez draw. He was outsmarted by promoter Bob Arum in negotiating for a big-money duel with either Barrera or Morales and could’ve used his influence on IBF president Marian Muhammad to foist Pacquiao as No. 1 contender Peden’s opponent for the vacant title.
St. Clair, 29, is a durable opponent who has lost only to past and present world champions Diego Corrales, Vivian Harris and Leonard Dorin. If plans materialize, St. Clair will fight Pacquiao in an open field with a capacity to accommodate over 40,000 spectators at the Global City.
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One big question that I want answered here is why the hell Murad is the one making all the arrangements when the fight is going to be here in MANILA . . . outside U.S.? What the **** is NAZARIO doing? Murad was even the one who received that alleged
$ 650,000 from an unamed Filipino sponsor. How is that? If Murad needs to get a cut on the money because he was the one who negotiated with St. Claire that's fine . . . but local arrangements should be handled by Nazario not Murad. Team Pac better not get the ire of the ARANETA family for negotiating with somebody else on the suppose to be venue . . . the ARANETA COLISEUM has been offered for that event long time ago. They better be prepared for the consequence . . . . the more they might have problem finding sponsors.