Manny Pacquiao works out in the Philippines last fall. (Jeoffrey Maitem / Getty…)
It’s “very possible” Manny Pacquiao’s fifth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez will take place in Singapore, Bob Arum, the boxers’ promoter, said Wednesday.
Arum, speaking at a luncheon to promote his first card in China, headlined by the country’s two-time U.S. Olympic gold-medalist Zou Shiming on April 6 in Macao, said the massive site fee discussed in informal negotiations has put the Far East in play for the fifth Pacquiao-Marquez bout.
Plus, Pacquiao is subject to an increased 39.6% tax rate if he fights in the United States again, Arum said.
“Manny is pressing me to fight outside the U.S.,” said Arum, who pointed to the Venetian hotel in Singapore as one of a couple possible locations.
Arum has been in contact with casino and hotel executives in the Far East as part of his talks to put Shiming’s four-round pro debut against Mexico’s Eleazar Valenzuela in Macao.
That bout will headline an HBO card that will air at 2 p.m. PDT on April 6, and include title defenses by junior-lightweight world champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez versus unbeaten Diego Magdaleno and flyweight world champion Brian Viloria versus Juan Francisco Estrada.
Arum said casino executives who have properties in the Far East and in Las Vegas have claimed the Pacific properties bring in “eight times the money turnover than in Nevada … Vegas is peanuts. Macao is Las Vegas on steroids.”
The Ultimate Fighting Championship held a recent card in Macao and Chinese officials told Arum the fights brought in $25 million more than on a typical gambling night.
Arum said the Macao arena for Shiming’s fight is being fitted for about 16,000 spectators, with the boxer earning $300,000 for the first of his likely three bouts this year. His next could be on the Pacquiao-Marquez card, which has not been negotiated after Marquez won by knockout in December.
By reaching into China’s population of 1.4 billion, Arum said the ultimate interest in Shiming “could make Pacquiao and Floyd "Mayweather’s fights look like peanuts.”
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, also trains Shiming and said the fighter’s “speed and very good defense” have shined in training, adding that his power punching will improve in conditioning and coaching after leaning on a scoring-based amateur fighting style.
Roach said Shiming, 31, was taught to box with his hand bent forward from the wrist.
“He said he’d hurt his hand, and I told him, ‘That’s why,’ ” Roach said. “His power will come. He’s a tough kid, not soft, and will fight for a title within a year.”