by Nick Giongco
Top Rank chief Bob Arum is giving Manny Pacquiao 48 hours to make a decision whether he is going to fight or not on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.
While Arum is in constant touch with Pacquiao, through the fighting senator’s Canadian adviser Mike Koncz, the 85-year-old Hall of Fame promoter is anxious whether his proposal will come into fruition.
“They have to make a decision by Wednesday (Thursday in Manila),” said Arum from Los Angeles yesterday.
Arum is proposing that Pacquiao defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown against undefeated Jeff Horn at the 52,500-seat Suncorp Stadium.
With the working date just a little over three months away, Arum wants Pacquiao to make his move, stressing that the Australian government can’t afford to wait as it already has the money on the table.
Arum didn’t say exactly how much is being dangled.
Efforts to stage the Pacquiao-Horn showdown was scuttled a few months ago when Koncz explored the possibility of bringing the 38-year-old Filipino star to the United Arab Emirates to meet former sparring partner Amir Khan of England.
Koncz went the extra mile in making it happen after being assured a whopping $38-million by UAE businessmen, flying to the UAE to meet up with sponsors.
But Arum was skeptical about the whole thing and talks collapsed, paving the way for Arum to rework his original offer sheet for Pacquiao to travel Down Under to fight Horn.
“If we can’t get a fight for him this July, we’ll look at November,” said Arum, noting that a return appearance on US soil seems improbable given the skidding pay-per-view sales.
“Unless it’s a big fight, we are looking at Manny fighting outside the US,” Arum said.
There are offers for Pacquiao to fight in Qatar and even in South Africa towards the end of the year, according to Arum.