By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Manny Pacquiao’s promoter doesn’t want the Filipino superstar or Juan Manuel Marquez to face other opponents before their fifth fight sometime in September.
“I would prefer neither of them take an interim fight,” Arum said after a media event at Madison Square Garden to promote Saturday’s HBO tripleheader in The Theater. “Because wherever I go, people used to ask me, ‘When is Pacquiao going to fight Mayweather?’ And now wherever I go, they say, ‘When is the rematch going to happen?’ ”
Arum explained that executives for his company, Top Rank Inc., have explored options for an April 13 or April 20 fight for Pacquiao in Macau and Singapore, but that neither potential site seemed suitable for various reasons. Pacquiao expressed a desire to take a tune-up bout before facing Marquez again, preferably outside the United States, where Pacquiao would pay substantially less in taxes from his earnings.
“He wants to fight in April, but he wants to fight outside of the United States because of the tax rate and everything,” Arum said. “[Top Rank president] Todd [duBoef] went over to Macau and tried to do the fight in Macau. Unfortunately, there’s a Korean pop star who has tied up the building for every week, except the first week in April.
“And you can’t go the first week in April because you’re up against the Final Four basketball and you get killed [on pay-per-view]. And you can’t do it in Singapore. They’re trying, but it’s not going to work in Singapore because we need a lot of money for the fight. They can afford it in Macau, but the arena in Singapore is not close to where the two casinos are. But in Macau, the arena is right in The Venetian hotel.”
Arum added that “there’s no money to do” a Pacquiao fight in the Philippines, where the 34-year-old congressman remains a national treasure even after his one-punch, sixth-round knockout loss to Marquez on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas. Unless the circumstances change quickly in relation to April tune-up fights, the 81-year-old promoter suspects Pacquiao-Marquez 5 will be next for Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) and Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), who’ll turn 40 before they fight again.
“They’ll wait until September to fight and it’ll probably happen in Mexico or the United States,” Arum said. “But I think in Mexico because there’s no tax.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.