By Rick Reeno
One thing is for sure, according to adviser Michael Koncz, we are going to see eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38KOs) return in the month of September - and the fight will NOT take place in the United States.
Koncz tells BoxingScene.com that Pacquiao's position is very firm - he refuses to stage his next fight in the United States due to the high taxes.
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum is willing to stage Pacquiao's next outing in Macao or potentially Singapore - but the veteran promoter is fearful that staging the event overseas will potentially damage the HBO Pay-Per-View buyrate.
Koncz agrees with Arum, but not completely. He realizes the pay-per-view will be affected by holding the card overseas - but he disagrees with Arum's fear of a major slice being lost in terms of the buys.
"It's going to be overseas. It is not going to be here - we're adamant on that. I think we're going to lose some pay-per-view buys, but I don't agree with Bob that we're going to lose half of it. I think maybe 20% [will be lost], but I think if we do the fight on the time slot for HBO Pay-Per-View - people will still watch the fight," Koncz told BoxingScene.com.
During recent interviews, Juan Manuel Marquez has brushed off the idea of a fifth fight with Pacquiao. Marquez claims he is "not interested" and there is "no reason" to stage another fight with his Filipino rival.
No problem, says Koncz. There are other potential options being explored - including WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley (30-0, 12KOs), who won a controversial decision over Pacquiao last June. Newly crowned WBO interim-140-pound champion Mike Alvarado is another option.
"[Timothy] Bradley had a very good showing his last fight out, and maybe [Mike] Alvarado, and there are some other guys out there. We haven't really sat down to finalize an opponent, because we're still working on the venue," Koncz said.
Because of HBO's recent split with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his close business partner Golden Boy Promotions - the idea of a Pacquiao-Mayweather super-fight is now being completely ruled out for the moment. Mayweather, and the Golden Boy stable, are now exclusively appearing on HBO's network rival Showtime.
Koncz doesn't have all of the internal facts, but he agrees with HBO's decision to cut their business ties with Golden Boy - because he believes Golden Boy steered all of their big names, including Mayweather, to Showtime.
"I don't know what happened internally, but I think they did the right thing. They took a stand, they sent a strong message and I just think they did the right thing," Koncz said.