Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum said he would support the Philippines if ever it is serious on staging a fifth battle between reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in Manila.
“If they decide to pack a Manny fight in the Philippines, I’m very, very happy to participate and to lend my help, my company to make it a huge event but I can’t comment in what the Department of Tourism will do,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call on Wednesday.
Arum also said the 43-year-old Mexican Marquez (56-7-1 win-loss-draw record with 40 knockouts) could possibly return this year in the ring since he is doing some light trainings and very optimistic.
“If ever Manny (Pacquiao) will able to raise the money in the Philippines, I think Marquez is amenable to a fight. Yes, the Pacquiao-Marquez fifth fight in the Philippines is possible. Marquez is also talking of a comeback.”
Pacquiao and Marquez has a good story fight throughout the years. They settled for a draw in 2004 and Pacquiao won by a split decision in 2008. Pacquiao, 38, won again by a majority decision in 2011 before suffering a sixth round technical knockout loss to Marquez in their fourth fight in 2012.
Pacquiao said during an interview with Boyet Sison and Frddie Webb on DZMM’s Fast Break radio show last January 14 that the Department of Tourism (DOT) needs to raise P2.5 to P3 billion pesos in order to stage the Pacquiao-Marquez fifth fight in the Philippines.
Pacquiao is also one of the ambassadors of the DOT together with reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.
Pacquiao, for the meantime, will be facing undefeated Australian Jeff Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts) in April in a still undetermined place. But some of the details like the purse, venue and Pacquiao’s final approval are still needed to be finalized.
“I’m still finalizing all the details before I go there in Manila and meet Manny. So far I’m not allowed to say anything,” said Arum. “When I finish all the details and negotiations with my Australian counterparts, I will go there with full proposal and details.”