by Nick Giongco
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said yesterday that there is no truth to reports in the Australian media that Manny Pacquiao has been guaranteed a purse of $5-million for his April 23 fight with Jeff Horn.
“That’s not true,” said Arum from his home base in Las Vegas, noting that it is him, and not the New Zealand promoters he partnered with, is the one in charge with providing Pacquiao’s paycheck.
“That (Pacquiao’s purse) was not even talked about because that is my responsibility as his promoter,” said Arum.
A trip to the Philippines by Arum to meet Pacquiao is on the table “as soon as I finalized all my documents,” the 85-year-old Arum said.
The coming days will be crucial as Duco Promotions, the Auckland-based outfit that Arum forged an agreement with, is set to confer with the state governments of Queensland (Brisbane), New South Wales (Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne) and South Australia (Adelaide).
Even the Middle East with the United Arab Emirates is in play to serve as host of the Pacquiao-Horn world welterweight title fight if it presents a better financial package.
Arum points out that what he expects Pacquiao will get will be “reasonable” given that he won’t be showcasing his stuff the way he’s gotten used to over the years.
Horn’s camp is determined to stage the fight on home soil with Brisbane’s 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium as site while his handlers are short of pleading on bended knees that the state government should step in.
“It’s a travesty (if the fight lands outside Australia),” said Horn’s manager Glenn Rushton during a press conference held in Brisbane just a few hours after Arum brokered a deal with Duco Promotions.
Horn is an unbeaten former schoolteacher who has a 16-1 win-loss-draw record with 11 KOs.
A complete mystery outside Australia and New Zealand, the 28-year-old Horn promises to rise to the occasion and score the biggest win in Australian fight history once he gets in the ring with the Filipino eight-division champion.
Pacquiao, 38, has a 59-6-2 slate with 39 KOs and is coming off a resounding victory over Jessie Vergas in Las Vegas.
Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser, was aghast upon learning about the $5-million that was announced in the Brisbane press conference attended by Horn and his handlers.
Said Koncz: “Manny even asked me if I agreed to that and I told him, ‘of course not. You know me better than that.’”
Pacquiao just arrived from a business trip to the Cayman Islands and went to General Santos City to be with wife Jinkee, who is celebrating her birthday.
If successful, Arum wants to go on a world tour with Pacquiao in 2017 with stops in Russia and England on the table.