Arum: Manny to fight in July
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - March 9, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao is not going to fight Amir Khan next, not in the United Arab Emirates, and definitely not in May.

Bob Arum was right all along that the $38 million deal that was offered Pacquiao by an unnamed investment group from the UAE is or was “insane.”

Arum had earlier arranged for Pacquiao taking on Australian Jeff Horn in April in Brisbane. But Pacquiao and his adviser, Mike Koncz, thought they had a better deal in the UAE.

Koncz flew to the Middle East where it was announced weeks ago that Pacquiao had agreed to fight Khan in May – for a staggering $38 million.

But with the clock ticking fast, the UAE group couldn’t show the money. And now Pacquiao versus Khan in May is dead.

“When it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” Arum told The STAR yesterday. He said instead of May, Pacquiao will fight in June or July.

“That deal is done for now. (Pacquiao and Koncz) were talking to the wrong people,” Arum told the Los Angeles Times yesterday.

Pacquiao doesn’t want boxing to interfere with his duties as a senator, and that he wants to fight only when congress is on a break.

The Senate will go on break from March 15 to May 1, and it’s no longer quite possible for him to stage the fight within the period.

“We’ll have to look at the next break and that will be sometime in July,” said Arum.

Arum has a new proposal for Pacquiao but did not divulge any details regarding the opponent or the venue. He said Pacquiao may still face Khan in November but not for his next fight.

Arum said Pacquiao will still fight twice this year – hopefully in July and then in November.

“We’ll be able to get the two fights this year. Absolutely,” he told The STAR.

“I have a new proposal and I just can’t go through it. Michael Koncz is going to discuss it very soon with Manny,” said Arum.

“If he (Pacquiao) accepts it, we’ll go ahead. If he doesn’t, there’s nothing we can do,” Arum added.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s camp has refused to comment on Arum’s earlier pronouncement that the planned fight with Khan is off.

“We have no comment at this time,” Koncz told Philstar.com in a text message.

Koncz informed Philstar.com that he just arrived in the Philippines Wednesday morning from a trip to the US, where he sat down with Arum to discuss the fight.

It was Koncz who led negotiations with an investment group in the United Arab Emirates that planned to stage the Pacquiao-Khan fight. Khan has a huge following among the Muslim community there.

“Manny and I spoke and decided we will make no comments one way or the other at this time,” he added. With Dino Maragay/Philstar.com

MANNY PACQUIAO
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