Manny Pacquiao in Dubai?

Is the Pacman heading for our sunny shores? Yes, if the price is right...

Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has not ruled out Dubai as a future venue for a big money fight, according to an article in Gulf News today.

Speaking to Gulf News, in the course of a series of interviews conducted at his training camp at Baguio City in the Philippines, Pacquiao said: "I am not closing the doors on the possibility of staging one of my fights there [Dubai]. It all depends if someone is willing to bankroll the bout."

Pacquiao's views were seconded by his promoter Bob Arum, who is also in the Philippines helping the boxer prepare for his bout with challenger Miguel Cotto (on November 14at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"If somebody is willing to underwrite $40 to 50 million (Dhs183 million) there is a possibility of a fight happening," said Arum.

The fight will take place at a catchweight of 145 lbs which is within the welterweight class. Pacquiao is training under American trainer Freddie Roach.

Should the Dubai fight materialise, Pacquiao's opponent is yet to be shortlisted. However, sources say that it could be one among three contenders: Floyd Mayweather, a re-match with Cotto, or Shane Mosley.

Should any promoter hope to bankroll the millions that are needed then the best returns would be available from a Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. Thousands of Pacquiao's fans from the UAE and in the region, who adore the 'Pac-Man', could fly in to watch their icon in action.

Despite his own greatness as a boxer Mayweather holds Pacquiao in high regard. It is believed he would still fight him even if he loses to Cotto on November 14.

Mayweather has been challenging Pacquiao to put an end to the issue of who really is the true pound for pound king. But Pacquiao has to move past Cotto, who is no pushover, first.

The Dubai plans are not set to materialise before 2010. Pacquaio has to meet his immediate commitments, including running for a Congressional seat.

But Filipinos in Dubai can take heart from a promise made to them by their beloved 'Pac-Man'. He is seriously pursuing talks on touring Dubai with his band.

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