Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum said that World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao might face a Russian foe in July in Russia.
Arum, who is currently working on the fight details and contract package of Pacquiao’s fight against Jeff Horn in April, said the eight-division world champion may face Russian Dmitry Mikhaylenko with a 22-1 win-loss record including 10 knockouts and rated No. 12 by the WBO.
“We are putting a deal together with the Russians to bring Manny in the Ural Mountains in Siberia in July,” Arum told The Manila Times on Friday via overseas call. “Mikhaylenko is rated No. 12 by the WBO, a pretty good opponent.”
“Siberia is two hours from Moscow and we have to wait for the summer.”
Boxing news website www.rt.com reported that Russian boxing promotion firm RMK is keen on bringing Pacquiao to Ekaterinburg to fight Mikhaylenko. “We were extremely interested in this fight (Pacquiao-Mikhaylenko) RMK General Manager told Alex Titov of rt.com on January 13. “In July, there will be the annual Innoprom industrial exhibition in Ekaterinburg and we would like to put on a big fight as part of that event. But for starters, Manny needs to win in Australia, after which we will decide with Bob Arum at the negotiating table.”
As far as the fight with Horn is concerned, Arum said that the only thing missing now is Pacquiao’s approval.
“I’m finalizing everything and after that, I will go to Manila and meet Manny with a complete package, including the money and everything. I don’t want to go there and talk nonsense,” said Arum, expressing confidence his prized fighter would approve of the contract.
In a separate interview at the Senate on Wednesday, Pacquiao said that he is yet to review the contract details.
“I haven’t talked initially with Bob Arum regarding my next fight, so I cannot say anything yet for the meantime. It (Pacquiao-Horn bout) is not official yet,” he said.